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NCCN Guidelines for Patients


Soft Tissue Sarcoma, Version 1.2014



Sarcomas in the inner trunk

Treatment planning

allergic reactions occur. Tell your doctor and the

technicians if you have had bad reactions in the past.

Getting an imaging scan is often easy. Before the

scan, you may need to stop taking some medicines,

stop eating and drinking for a few hours, and remove

metal objects from your body. During the scan, you

will need to lie face up on a table that moves through

the machine. As the machine takes pictures, you may

hear buzzing, clicking, or whirring sounds. You will be

alone, but a technician will operate the machine in a

nearby room. He or she will be able to see, hear, and

speak with you at all times. You will likely be able to

resume your activities right away unless you took a



A biopsy is the removal of tissue or fluid samples to

test for disease. The samples will be studied under

a microscope by a pathologist in order to confirm if

there’s cancer. A biopsy is recommended for three

reasons. First, you may have a biopsy if you will have

radiation therapy or chemotherapy before surgery.

Second, a biopsy may also be done if your doctor

thinks you may have two types of cancer. Third,

you may have a biopsy if you won’t have surgery.

Otherwise, the tumor will be tested for cancer at the

time of your surgery.

A core-needle biopsy is recommended. This biopsy

removes samples with a needle that is inserted

through your skin and into the tumor. Your skin will

be numbed beforehand. Because tumors within the

abdomen are deep, imaging should be used to guide

the needle to the tumor. CT or an ultrasound may be

used. Ultrasound makes images with high-frequency

sound waves.

A core-needle biopsy is preferred over an open

surgical biopsy. An open surgical biopsy requires

anesthesia to numb the area and a cut into the skin.

It is a minor surgery that removes some but not the

entire tumor.

If after the first biopsy it is unclear if the tumor is

cancer, a second biopsy should be done. If the tumor

is cancer, more testing should be done to learn more

about the cancer. Your doctors will want to know the

cancer grade. Testing for abnormal genes within the

cancer cells may also be done. It is important that the

testing be done by a pathologist who has experience

with sarcoma.