What Are the Key Statistics About Soft Tissue Sarcomas?

The American Cancer Society's estimates for soft tissue sarcomas in the United States for 2017 are (these statistics include both adults and children):

  • About 12,390 new soft tissue sarcomas will be diagnosed (6,890 cases in males and 5,500 cases in females).
  • 4,990 Americans (2,670 males and 2,320 females) are expected to die of soft tissue sarcomas.

The most common types of sarcoma in adults are undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma (previously called malignant fibrous histiocytoma), liposarcoma, and leiomyosarcoma. Certain types occur more often in certain areas of the body than others. For example, leiomyosarcomas are the most common abdominal sarcoma, while liposarcomas and undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma are most common in legs. But pathologists (doctors who specialize in diagnosing cancers by how they look under the microscope), may not always agree on the exact type of sarcoma. Sarcomas of uncertain type are very common.

Visit the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Statistics Center for more key statistics.

The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team
Our team is made up of doctors and master’s-prepared nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.

Last Medical Review: December 29, 2014 Last Revised: January 6, 2017

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