Follow-up after treatment for soft tissue sarcoma

Follow-up after treatment is an important part of cancer care. Follow-up for soft tissue sarcoma is often shared among the cancer specialists, such as surgeons and oncologists, and your family doctor. Your healthcare team will work with you to decide on follow-up care to meet your needs.

Don’t wait until your next scheduled appointment to report any new symptoms and symptoms that don’t go away. Tell your healthcare team if you have:

  • any new lump or swelling
  • tenderness, pain or an increase in pain

The chance that soft tissue sarcoma will come back (recur) is greatest within 5 years, so you will need close follow-up during this time. Soft tissue sarcomas that are high grade and large have a high risk of coming back.

Schedule for follow-up visits

Follow-up visits for soft tissue sarcoma are usually scheduled:

  • every 3 to 6 months for the first 2 to 3 years
  • every 6 months for the next 2 years
  • once a year after 5 years

During follow-up visits

During a follow-up visit, your healthcare team will usually ask questions about the side effects of treatment and how you’re coping. They may also ask about your strength and movement and any rehabilitation you are doing to help with your recovery.

Your doctor may do a physical exam, including:

  • checking for lumps or swollen areas
  • listening to the lungs
  • checking for lymphedema
  • examining the stump if you’ve had an amputation

Tests are often part of follow-up care. You may have:

  • a CT scan or an MRI of the area where the cancer started to check if the cancer has come back
  • a chest x-ray or CT scan of the chest to check if the cancer has spread to the lungs

If the cancer has come back, you and your healthcare team will discuss a plan for your treatment and care.

Questions to ask about follow-up

To make the decisions that are right for you, ask your healthcare team questions about follow-up.

Expert review and references

Medical disclaimer

The information that the Canadian Cancer Society provides does not replace your relationship with your doctor. The information is for your general use, so be sure to talk to a qualified healthcare professional before making medical decisions or if you have questions about your health.

We do our best to make sure that the information we provide is accurate and reliable but cannot guarantee that it is error-free or complete.

The Canadian Cancer Society is not responsible for the quality of the information or services provided by other organizations and mentioned on, nor do we endorse any service, product, treatment or therapy.

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