This report is based on 1.851 adult patients with soft tissue sarcoma (STS) of the extremities or trunk wall diagnosed between 1986 and 1997 and reported from all tertiary referral centers in Norway and Sweden. The median age at diagnosis was 65 years and the male-to-female ratio was 1.1:1. One third of the tumors were subcutaneous, one third deep, intramuscular and one third deep, extramuscular. The median size was 7 (1-35) cm and 75% were high grade (III-IV). Metastases at presentation were diagnosed in 8% of the patients. Two thirds of STS patients were referred before surgery and the referral practices have improved during the study. The preoperative morphologic diagnosis was made with fine-needle aspiration cytology in 81%, core-needle biopsy in 9% and incisional biopsy in 10%. The frequency of amputations has decreased from 15% in 198688 to 9% in 1995-1997. A wide surgical margin was achieved in 77% of subcutaneous and 60% of deep-seated lesions. Overall, 24% of operated STS patients had adjuvant radiotherapy. The use of such therapy at sarcoma centers increased from 20% 1986-88 to 30% in 1995-97. Follow-up has been reported in 96% of the patients. The cumulative local recurrence rate was 0.20 at 5 years and 0.24 at 10 years. The 5-year metastasis-free survival rate was 0.70.
- Cancer and Oncology