Sarcoma, Soft Tissue - Statistics

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 07/2014

ON THIS PAGE: You will find information about how many people are diagnosed with this type of cancer each year. You will also learn some general information on surviving the disease. Remember, survival rates depend on several factors. To see other pages, use the menu on the side of your screen.

This year, approximately 12,310 people (6,980 males and 5,330 females) will be diagnosed with soft-tissue sarcoma in the United States.

 An estimated 4,990 adults and children (2,680 males and 2,310 females) are expected to die of the disease this year.

The 5-year survival rate tells you what percent of people live at least 5 years after the cancer is found. Percent means how many out of 100. The 5-year survival rate of people with localized sarcomas is 83%. Fifty-six percent (56%) of sarcomas are found in this early stage. The five-year survival rate for regional stage sarcomas is 54%, and when sarcomas spread to distant parts of the body, the 5-year survival rate is 16%. When the sarcoma starts in an arm or leg, the 5-year survival rates are slightly higher for each stage.

It is important to note that the length of time a person lives with sarcoma depends on many factors, including the size of the tumor, where it is located, the type, how fast the tumor cells are growing and dividing, and whether it is deep. If the sarcoma is diagnosed at an early stage and hasn’t spread from where it started, treatment is very effective and many people can be cured. On the other hand, if the sarcoma has spread to other parts of the body, treatment can usually control the tumor, but it is not often curable. Learn more in the stages section.

It is important to remember that statistics on how many people survive this type of cancer are an estimate. The estimate comes from data based on thousands of people with this cancer in the United States each year. So, your own risk may be different. Doctors cannot say for sure how long anyone will live with sarcoma. Also, experts measure the survival statistics every 5 years. This means that the estimate may not show the results of better diagnosis or treatment available for less than 5 years. Learn more about understanding statistics.

Statistics adapted from the American Cancer Society's (ACS) publication, Cancer Facts & Figures 2016, and the ACS website.

The next section in this guide is Medical Illustrations. It offers drawings of body parts often affected by this disease. Or, use the menu on the left side of your screen to choose another section to continue reading this guide.