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Adult Soft Tissue Sarcoma Treatment

Stages of Adult Soft Tissue Sarcoma

After adult soft tissue sarcoma has been diagnosed, tests are done to find out if cancer cells have spread within the soft tissue or to other parts of the body.

The process used to find out if cancer has spread within the soft tissue or to other parts of the body is called staging. Staging of soft tissue sarcoma is also based on the grade and size of the tumor, whether it is superficial (close to the skin's surface) or deep, and whether it has spread to the lymph nodes or other parts of the body. The information gathered from the staging process determines the stage of the disease. It is important to know the stage in order to plan treatment.

The following tests and procedures may be used in the staging process:

The results of these tests are viewed together with the results of the tumor biopsies to determine the stage of the soft tissue sarcoma.

There are three ways that cancer spreads in the body.

The three ways that cancer spreads in the body are:

When cancer cells break away from the primary (original) tumor and travel through the lymph or blood to other places in the body, another (secondary) tumor may form. This process is called metastasis. The secondary (metastatic) tumor is the same type of cancer as the primary tumor. For example, if breast cancer spreads to the bones, the cancer cells in the bones are actually breast cancer cells. The disease is metastatic breast cancer, not bone cancer.

The following stages are used for adult soft tissue sarcoma:


Pea, peanut, walnut, and lime show tumor sizes.
Pea, peanut, walnut, and lime show tumor sizes.

Stage I

Stage I is divided into stages IA and IB:

Stage II

Stage II is divided into stages IIA and IIB:

Stage III

In stage III, the tumor is either:

Stage IV

In stage IV, the tumor is any grade, any size, and may have spread to nearby lymph nodes. Cancer has spread to distant parts of the body, such as the lungs.