Surgery is a common type of sarcoma treatment that is intended to remove all traces of cancer from the body. For small sarcomas, surgery may be the only therapy necessary. For larger sarcomas, surgery may be accompanied by chemotherapy or radiation therapy to ensure that all of the cancer cells are destroyed.
There are several types of sarcoma surgery, and a patient’s options depend on the location of the cancer and how large it has grown. For instance:
- A wide local incision can be used to remove the entire tumor along with some of the healthy tissue around it, although minimal healthy tissue removal is the goal for sarcomas on the head, neck, abdomen and trunk.
- A limb-sparing surgery can be used to remove a sarcoma on the arms or legs without removing the entire body part. Although most surgeries do not involve the removal of the patient’s limbs, an amputation may occasionally be necessary for an extensive, late-stage tumor.
- A lymphadenectomy can be used to remove local lymph nodes if the surgeon believes the cancer may have started to spread through the lymphatic system.
To determine which type of sarcoma surgery would be most beneficial for a patient, our surgical team will assess a number of factors. At Moffitt Cancer Center, each patient is evaluated by a multispecialty team of oncologists and supportive care specialists; this allows us to tailor each patient’s treatment plan to his or her unique needs. Because Moffitt is a high-volume cancer center, our team has extensive experience with each of the unique types of sarcoma surgery.