Soft Tissue Sarcomas: Integrating Primary Care Recognition with Tertiary Care Center Treatment - Article

ABSTRACT: Soft tissue sarcomas account for fewer than 1 percent of malignancies diagnosed annually in the United States. These tumors usually present as an asymptomatic mass. Any lesion larger than 5 cm in diameter should be considered suspicious. Radiographs should be obtained as the initial step in assessing a suspicious lesion. Magnetic resonance imaging has become the preferred diagnostic examination for tumors involving the extremities, and computed tomographic scanning may be the best technique for imaging lesions in the thoracic, abdominal, and head and neck areas. In general, the patient with a suspicious soft tissue mass located in a surgically difficult area should be referred to a regional center for biopsy and multidisciplinary consultation before resection is attempted. Careful preoperative planning is necessary for a good outcome. The prognosis for the patient with a soft tissue sarcoma is primarily determined by the grade, size and depth of the tumor and the presence of tumor at the surgical margins.

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