Soft tissue sarcoma

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Treatments for stage 2 and 3 soft tissue sarcoma

The following are treatment options for stage 2 and 3 soft tissue sarcoma. Your healthcare team will suggest treatments based on your needs and your type of soft tissue sarcoma. They will work with you to develop a treatment plan.

Surgery

Surgery is the primary treatment for stage 2 or stage 3 soft tissue sarcomas. A wide local excision is usually done to remove the tumour along with a margin of healthy tissue around it.

Limb-sparing surgery may be used to remove tumours from a limb. Radiation therapy and chemotherapy may be offered to shrink a tumour before limb-sparing surgery. In rare cases, amputation is needed to remove all of the tumour in a limb. Amputation removes all or part of the limb.

If the tumour is large or in a place that would make surgery difficult, radiation therapy, chemotherapy or both may be given before surgery. These treatments can shrink the tumour to make it easier to remove.

Radiation therapy may also be given after surgery.

Radiation therapy

Radiation therapy may be offered for stage 2 or stage 3 soft tissue sarcoma. It may be given before surgery to make the tumour easier to remove. It may be given after surgery to lower the chance that the tumour will come back, or recur.

For sarcoma in a limb, radiation therapy and chemotherapy may be offered before limb-sparing surgery. Radiation therapy may be given alone after limb-sparing surgery.

Radiation may also be offered as the primary treatment if surgery can’t be done because of the tumour’s size or location or because of your overall health. Chemotherapy may also be given.

Chemotherapy

You may be offered chemotherapy for stage 2 or stage 3 soft tissue sarcoma in certain situations. It is sometimes given before surgery to shrink the tumour so it is easier to remove.

If surgery can’t be done, chemotherapy may be added to radiation therapy to try to control the tumour. Surgery may not be possible because of the tumour’s size or location or because of your overall health.

Clinical trials

You may be asked if you would like to join a clinical trial for soft tissue sarcoma. Find out more about clinical trials.

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