Soft Tissue Sarcoma: Newly Diagnosed

Being told you have a soft tissue sarcoma can be scary, and you may have many questions. But you have people on your healthcare team to help.

Coping with fear

It’s normal to feel afraid. Learning about the cancer and your treatment options can help you feel less afraid. This also helps you work with your healthcare team to make the best choices for your treatment. You can also ask to speak with a counselor.

Working with your healthcare team

You will likely have different types of doctors on your healthcare team. These might include:

  • Surgical oncologist (oncologic surgeon). This is a doctor who treats cancer with surgery. This doctor might be on your team if the sarcoma is in your belly (abdomen).

  • Orthopedic surgeon. This is a surgeon who treats diseases of the bones, muscles, and joints (for sarcomas in the arms or legs).

  • Thoracic surgeon. This is a doctor who treats diseases of the chest with surgery. If the sarcoma is in your chest, you may need this doctor.

  • Medical oncologist. This is a doctor who specializes in treating cancer with medicines like chemotherapy or targeted therapy.

  • Radiation oncologist. This is a doctor who specializes in treating cancer with radiation therapy.

Many other healthcare providers will be part of your team, too. These might include other kinds of doctors, as well as physician assistants (PAs) and nurse practitioners (NPs). You will also have oncology nurses, physical and occupational therapists, social workers, and other providers working with you.

Members of your team will answer any questions you may have. They’ll help you through each of the steps you’ll take before, during, and after treatment. Your team will let you know what tests you need and the results of those tests. They’ll guide you in making treatment decisions and help prepare you and your loved ones for what’s ahead.

Learning about treatment options

To decide the best course of treatment for you, your healthcare team needs to know as much as they can about you and the cancer. This will involve getting many different medical tests and working with more than one provider.

You may decide that you want to get a second opinion to help you choose a treatment. Your team can help you do this.

Getting support

Coping with cancer can be very stressful. Talk with your healthcare team about seeing a counselor. They can refer you to someone who can help. You can also join support groups to talk with other people coping with soft tissue sarcomas. Ask your healthcare team about local or online support groups.

Online Medical Reviewer: Kimberly Stump-Sutliff RN MSN AOCNS
Online Medical Reviewer: L Renee Watson MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Todd Gersten MD
Date Last Reviewed: 6/1/2021
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