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NCCN Guidelines for Patients


Soft Tissue Sarcoma, Version 1.2014



Desmoid tumors

Treatment planning

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. After the biopsy, a pathologist will

examine the samples with a microscope to assess if

there’s cancer. A biopsy is recommended unless you

will have surgery that fully removes the tumor.

There are multiple ways that a biopsy can be done.

A needle can be used to remove samples. The two

types of needle biopsies are a core-needle biopsy

and fine-needle aspiration. The core-needle biopsy

obtains a larger sample for testing. A fine-needle

aspiration removes a smaller piece of tissue and

doesn’t require any cutting into the skin (incision).

Besides needle biopsies, an incisional biopsy can

be used. An incisional biopsy requires anesthesia to

numb the area and cutting 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. The second

biopsy should be done using imaging to guide the

needle into the tumor. If you have cancer and not a

desmoid tumor, 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.