Soft tissue sarcomas are very rare cancers, so once a sarcoma is diagnosed you will usually be referred to a surgeon in a large cancer hospital, who specialises in the treatment of these types of cancer. Sometimes surgery may have been done before the surgeon realised that the lump was a soft tissue sarcoma. In this situation you will then normally be referred to a sarcoma specialist. Sarcoma specialists often treat other types of cancer as well as sarcoma.
The aim of most sarcoma surgery is to remove as much of the tumour as possible. Usually, an operation called a wide local excision is done. This means removing the cancer with a border (margin) of healthy, cancer-free tissue all around it. The border of healthy tissue is removed to try to stop the cancer coming back in that area.
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It is difficult to give general information about sarcoma surgery because the type of operation you have will depend on where in your body the sarcoma is.
Many sarcomas are in the arm or leg, but they can grow anywhere.
Your surgeon will discuss the operation with you in detail before any choice is made about your treatment.
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