Cancer survival rates are usually discussed in terms of 5-year relative survival, which means the proportion of patients who are alive five years after diagnosis. Keep in mind that statistics like these are based on large groups of people and cannot predict what might happen with an individual patient.
In addition, the most current national data is from patients diagnosed between 2015 and 2019, which doesn’t reflect the impact of the latest treatment advances.
In the United States, overall survival (including all stages of disease) among people diagnosed with soft tissue cancer (including of the heart) is 65.4%. The National Cancer Institute records survival rates using three very broad categories:
- Localized disease. In patients with early-stage, localized cancers in whom the cancer is confined to the primary site, 5-year survival is 81.5%.
- Regional disease. Among those whose cancer has spread to regional lymph nodes, the survival is 57.8%.
- Distant disease. Patients with soft tissue sarcoma that has metastasized to other body areas at the time of diagnosis, have a survival rate of 17.1%.
What Roswell Park does to maximize survival and quality of life
- Considers chemotherapy or other treatments before your surgery. This approach can shrink tumors, making surgical removal easier and safer.
- Limb-sparing surgery. This technique offers the same effectiveness in terms of cancer control but far better quality of life to retain the limb.
- Intraoperative radiation delivers radiation therapy to the tumor field during an operation to maximize destruction of cancer cells.
- Clinical trials that provide access to the latest options.
- Treatment for metastatic disease which may include surgery and/or radiation.
Staging and survival statistics just separate you into risk groups to help guide treatment, but every person has a chance for cure.Professor of OncologyChief of Melanoma/Sarcoma