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I’ve Just Been Told I Have Soft Tissue Sarcoma

Soft tissue sarcoma is a type of cancer. There are very few things scarier than being told you have cancer. You may feel like you’re in shock. You may not even want to believe what the doctor has told you. And there are probably so many questions you want to ask but think you can’t because you don’t know where to start.

It’s OK to be overwhelmed. And it’s OK to feel afraid. But you shouldn’t let those feelings stop you from finding out as much as you can about your cancer and about the options you have. Because the more you know, the less helpless and afraid you will feel.

You are not alone. You will be joined by a highly specialized team of health care professionals.

This team may include the following specialists:

  • Medical oncologist. A doctor who specializes in using drugs to treat cancer.

  • Radiation oncologist. A doctor who specializes in using radiation to treat cancer.

  • Surgical cancer specialist. A doctor who specializes in using surgery to treat cancer.

  • Oncology nurse. A nurse who is specially trained to work with people with cancer.

  • Oncology nurse practitioner. A nurse who is specially trained to work with people with cancer and can do some tests and can prescribe drugs in some states.

  • Social worker. A specialist who can help you find emotional or financial support.

If needed, your team may also include these specialists:

  • A plastic or reconstructive surgeon

  • Physical therapist

  • Rehabilitation medicine specialist

This team will answer any questions you may have. They’ll also help you through each of the steps you’ll take before, during, and after treatment. Your team will let you know what tests are being done, why they are being done, their results, and if you need more tests. They’ll guide you in making treatment decisions. Remember, you can always ask for a second opinion to ensure you feel comfortable with your treatment plan.

Remember, it is OK and completely normal to be sad, depressed, or even angry. Do not be afraid to share those feelings.

People with soft tissue sarcoma now have more treatment choices than ever before. There is more hope for survival. Doctors keep finding new ways to help people with soft tissue sarcoma. There is more being learned about this type of cancer, its prevention, detection, and treatment every day.

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