ON THIS PAGE: You will find information about the number of people who are diagnosed with soft tissue sarcoma (STS) each year. You will also read general information on surviving the disease. Remember, survival rates depend on several factors. Use the menu to see other pages.
Overall, sarcoma is uncommon. Statistics for sarcomas in specific organs are unavailable because of the rarity of these diseases. This year, about 13,130 people (7,470 men and boys and 5,660 women and girls) will be diagnosed with STS in general in the United States.
An estimated 5,350 people (2,870 men and boys and 2,480 women and girls) are expected to die of STS 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 overall 5-year survival rate for people with STS is 65%. However, rates vary based on the specific type and the stage, or extent, of the sarcoma. The statistics below include different types of STS, but do not include Kaposi sarcoma and GIST.
The 5-year survival rate for people with STS that has not spread from the area where it started is around 81%. About 60% of patients are diagnosed at this early stage. If the sarcoma has spread to the nearby lymph nodes (which is uncommon for most types of sarcoma) or regional tissue, the 5-year survival rate is 57%. If the sarcoma has spread to another area of the body, the 5-year survival rate is 16%. Talk with your doctor about what to expect with your specific diagnosis.
It is important to remember that statistics on the survival rates for people with STS are an estimate. The estimate comes from annual data based on the number of people with this cancer in the United States. Also, experts measure the survival statistics every 5 years. So the estimate may not show the results of better diagnosis or treatment available for less than 5 years. Talk with your doctor if you have any questions about this information. Learn more about understanding statistics.
Statistics adapted from the American Cancer Society's (ACS) publication, Cancer Facts & Figures 2020, the ACS website, and the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program (sources accessed January 2020).
The next section in this guide is Risk Factors. It explains what factors may increase the chance of developing sarcoma and what may lower your risk. Use the menu to choose a different section to read in this guide.