©2019 by Northwest Sarcoma Foundation.

WHAT ARE THE STAGES OF SARCOMA?

There are 2 " (T)" stages, Primary Tumor

  • T1 means the tumour is smaller than 5cm across at its widest

  • T2 means the tumour is at least 5cm across in any direction

There are 3 " (N)" stages, Regional Lymph Nodes

  • N1 means there are cancer cells in at least 1 lymph node

  • N0 means no lymph nodes have been found that contain cancer cells

  • NX regional lymph nodes cannot be assessed

There are 2 "(M)" stages, Distant Metastasis

  • M0 means there are no signs of cancer spread

  • M1 means that cancer spread has been found.

There are 4 "G" grades, Histopathologic Grade (information obtained from a pathology report)

  • G1 - Well differentiated Low Grade

  • G2 - Moderately differentiated Low Grade

  • G3 - Poorly differentiated High Grade

  • G4 - Undifferentiated High Grade (Ewing's sarcoma is classified as G4.)

The number stages

There are 4 major number stages. But stage 1 is divided into 2 subgroups. And stage 2 is divided into 3 subgroups. The number stages of soft tissue sarcoma are:

  • Stage 1A the tumour is low grade, small, superficial or deep with no sign of spread

  • Stage 1B the tumour is defined as low grade, large and superficial with no sign of spread

  • Stage 2A the tumour is low grade, large and deep

  • Stage 2B the tumour is high grade, small, superficial or deep

  • Stage 2C the tumour is high grade, large, and superficial

  • Stage III is high grade, large and deep

  • Stage IV means the tumour has spread to lymph nodes or any other organs

Recurrence means a soft tissue sarcoma has come back after it was first treated.

As with many cancers, the treatment options are surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Surgery is most often used with chemotherapy. You may be given radiotherapy after surgery for some types of sarcoma. Your treatment will be planned taking into account:

  • The type of sarcoma you have

  • How far your cancer has grown or spread (the ' stage')

  • Your general health

  • Your age and level of fitness

Cancer treatments can be divided into local and systemic treatments. Surgery and radiotherapy are local treatments. They treat just one part of the body. Systemic treatments act on cancer cells wherever they are in the body, not just at the primary site. Chemotherapy is a systemic treatment.