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 and some general survival information. Remember, survival rates depend on several factors. To see other pages, use the menu on the side of your screen.

This year, approximately 11,930 people (6,610 males and 5,320 females) will be diagnosed with soft-tissue sarcoma in the United States. An estimated 4,870 adults and children (2,600 males and 2,270 females) are expected to die of the disease this year.

The five-year survival rate is the percentage of people who survive at least five years after the cancer is found. The five-year survival rate of people with localized sarcomas is 83%, and the five-year survival rate for regional stage sarcomas is 54%. When sarcomas spread to distant parts of the body, the five-year survival rate is 16%. When the sarcoma starts in an arm or leg, the five-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 and Grades section.

Cancer survival statistics should be interpreted with caution. These estimates are based on data from thousands of people with this type of cancer, so the actual risk for a particular individual may be different. It is not possible to tell a person how long he or she will live with sarcoma. Because the survival statistics are measured in five-year intervals, they may not represent advances made in the treatment or diagnosis of this cancer. Learn more about understanding statistics.

Statistics adapted from the American Cancer Society's (ACS) publication, Cancer Facts & Figures 2015, and the ACS website.

The next section in this guide is Medical Illustrations and 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.