Symptoms: In their early stages, soft-tissue sarcomas usually do not cause symptoms. Because soft tissue is relatively elastic, tumors can grow rather large, pushing aside normal tissue, before they are felt or cause any problems. The first noticeable symptom is usually a painless lump or swelling. As the tumor grows, it may cause other symptoms, such as pain or soreness, as it presses against nearby nerves and muscles.
Treatment: The stage of the sarcoma is based on the size and grade of the tumor, and whether the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes or other parts of the body (metastasized). Treatment options for soft-tissue sarcomas include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Surgery is the most common treatment for soft-tissue sarcomas. It is important to obtain a margin free of tumor to decrease the likelihood of local recurrence and give the best chance for eradication of the tumor.
Statistics: Exclusion criteria were studies of patients <18 years of age; ≤10 patients; countries other than Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, or Thailand; >20% benign tumours; sarcomas located in bones or joints; gastrointestinal stromal tumour; Kaposi’s sarcoma; or not reporting relevant outcomes. Nearly all patients (98%, 1,992/2,024; 31 studies) were treated with surgery, and more studies used adjuvant radiotherapy than chemotherapy (24 vs 17 studies). Survival outcomes and recurrence rates varied among the studies because of the different histotypes, sites, and disease stages assessed. Only 5 studies reported safety findings.