Follow-up after treatment for soft tissue sarcomas
While most people recover well after surgery for soft tissue sarcomas tissue sarcomas, and are able to move around quite soon, some people take longer and need extra help.
Before you go home, the hospital staff will talk to you about your situation. If you live alone or have stairs to climb, you may need some help at home.
If you have any worries about going home, make sure you discuss them with the hospital staff in advance so that help can be organised.
Children and teenagers often worry about falling behind at school. Home tutoring can often be arranged with the local education authority. The social worker on your ward will be able to organise this for you.
Children or teenagers may find the area of our website for young people helpful.
After your treatment has finished, your doctor will want you to have regular check-ups and x-rays, in particular chest x-rays. These will often continue for several years. If you have any problems or notice any new symptoms in between these times (for example, a lump or swelling at the area of your operation), let your doctor know as soon as possible.
The gaps between your appointments will get longer as time goes on. This is because the risk of the cancer coming back gets steadily lower over time.
When treatment finishes, many people find it helps to talk about it and share their thoughts, feelings and advice with other people.
This can be especially helpful for other people with a soft tissue sarcoma who are perhaps about to start their treatment. Just hearing about how you’ve coped, what side effects you had and how you managed them is very helpful to someone in a similar situation.
We can help you share your story - find out more about becoming a Cancer Voice.
If the cancer comes back
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Sometimes, the sarcoma may come back or spread to other parts of the body including, most often, the lungs. If tests show that you have a small amount of cancer in your lungs, it may be possible for you to have an operation to remove the part of the lung that is affected.
If the cancer comes back elsewhere, your doctor will talk to you about the different treatment options available to you. The most common treatment for people in this situation is chemotherapy.