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6

NCCN Guidelines for Patients

®

Soft Tissue Sarcoma, Version 1.2014

Learning that you have cancer can

be overwhelming. This chapter briefly

describes what sarcoma is and the

types of treatment. These basics may

help you cope and better understand

Parts 2 through 6.

What is soft tissue sarcoma?

Sarcomas are a large but rare group of cancers.

Sarcomas start in cells that make up bones or soft

tissue. Soft tissue supports, connects, and surrounds

parts of your body. Soft tissue includes fat, muscles,

nerves, tendons, and blood and lymph vessels.

Soft tissue sarcomas are more common than bone

sarcomas.

There are over 50 types of soft tissue sarcoma.

These types differ by the type of soft tissue. They also

differ by the type and shape of cells and how much

the cells look like normal cells. A list of soft tissue

sarcomas can be found in the

Glossary

. The most

common types are:

• Undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma,

• GISTs (

g

astro

i

ntestinal

s

tromal

t

umors),

• Liposarcoma,

• Leiomyosarcoma,

• Synovial sarcoma, and

• Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors.

Soft tissue sarcomas can occur anywhere in the body.

The most common place is in the arms and legs.

About 43 out of 100 (43%) sarcomas occur in the

1

Sarcoma basics

6 What is soft tissue sarcoma?

8 Local treatments

10 Drug treatments

12 Clinical trials

12 Review