Soft Tissue Sarcoma
40 year old male with soft tissue sarcoma
Step 5: Communication
Communication with a specialist centre and the patient is important
The radiologist reporting the MRI scan calls and tells you this looks like a soft tissue sarcoma. You get the patient back, and he keeps asking why you are not simply taking the lump out.
You tell him that your plan at this point is:
Referral to a local general surgeonTip 1
No. These tumours need to be seen by a multidisciplinary team specialized in treating sarcoma. Improper biopsy or resection without prior appropriate workup can severely compromise future treatment.Close
Send patient to the Emergency DepartmentTip 1
No. While this gets the patient in hospital, it is not the most efficient way to have them seen by a specialist. This tumour is urgent, but not an emergency.Close
Ask a local radiologist to do a biopsyTip 1
No. The biopsy must be done in consultation with the treating surgeon as these tumours are very transplantable. Improper biopsy can severely compromise future treatment and result in amputation being necessary.Close
Referral to a multidisciplinary centerTip 1
Yes. The best outcomes for these complex tumours are achieved when they are managed by the appropriate subspecialists in a multidisciplinary setting.Close
The patient asks you what you think is going on, and what is going to happen to him?
It is important to make sure the patient understands the gravity of the situation, but also that these are usually treatable tumours.
Survival ratesTip 1
With modern treatment, non-metastatic soft tissue sarcomas have a survival rate of about 70%.Close
Radiation TherapyTip 1
Radiation therapy is often used preoperatively before proceeding with resection of the soft tissue sarcoma.Close