Soft tissue sarcoma statistics

Cases

New cases of soft tissue sarcoma, 2010, UK

Survival

Survive soft tissue sarcoma for 10 or more years, 2009-2013, England

 

  • Around 3,300 people were diagnosed with soft tissue sarcoma in 2010 in the UK, that’s around 9 people every day.
  • In the UK in 2010, around 1,700 males and around 1,600 females were diagnosed with soft tissue sarcoma.
  • The most common subtypes of soft tissue sarcoma in the UK in 2008-2010 were leiomyosarcoma (18%), fibroblastic sarcoma (14%) and liposarcoma (13%). One-fifth (20%) of soft tissue sarcoma cases were not recorded as a specific subtype (sarcoma NOS).
  • Around 4 in 10 (43%) soft tissue sarcoma cases are diagnosed in people over 65 years old.
  • Though all of the main soft tissue sarcoma subtypes are more common in older people than younger people, the age profile varies between subtypes. Rhabdomyosarcoma in particular affects young children.
  • Soft tissue sarcoma incidence rates have increased overall in the UK since the mid-1990s, by 18% for males and 14% for females between 1996-1998 and 2008-2010. This is probably linked with improvements to diagnosis and data recording.
  • Incidence rates have remained stable for most of the main soft tissue sarcoma subtypes in the UK since the mid-1990s. Rates of liposarcoma, fibroblastic sarcoma, rare soft tissue sarcoma variants, and sarcoma NOS have increased between 1996-1998 and 2008-2010, while rates of leiomyosarcoma have decreased. Changes in the definition of some subtypes may partly explain the trends.
  • Most soft tissue sarcomas occur in the limbs.
  • An estimated 11,700 people who had previously been diagnosed with connective and soft tissue sarcoma were alive in the UK at the end of 2010.

See more in-depth soft tissue sarcoma incidence statistics

  • Almost half (45%) of people diagnosed with soft tissue sarcoma in the UK survive their disease for ten years or more (1996-2000).
  • More than half (53%) of people diagnosed with soft tissue sarcoma in the UK survive their disease for five years or more (2001-2005).
  • Three-quarters (75%) of people diagnosed with soft tissue sarcoma in the UK survive their disease for one year or more (2005-2009).
  • Soft tissue sarcoma 10-year survival in the UK is similar in men and women (1996-2000).
  • Soft tissue sarcoma five-year survival in the UK in males is highest for those diagnosed at 35-39 years old and in females is highest for those diagnosed at 25-29 years old (2001-2005).
  • 7 in 10 people in the UK diagnosed with soft tissue sarcoma aged 35-39 survive their disease for five years or more, compared with 3 in 10 people diagnosed aged 85+ (2001-2005).
  • Five-year relative survival for soft tissue sarcoma in men is similar to the European average in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
  • Five-year relative survival for soft tissue sarcoma in women is below the European average in England but similar to the European average in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
  • A person’s risk of developing cancer depends on many factors, including age, genetics, and exposure to risk factors (including some potentially avoidable lifestyle factors).
  • 100% of Kaposi sarcoma cases in the UK are preventable.

See more in-depth soft tissue sarcoma risk factors

  • ‘Two-week wait’ standards are met by all countries, ‘31-day wait’ is met by all but Northern Ireland and Wales, and ’62 day wait’ is not met by any country for sarcoma.

See more in-depth soft tissue sarcoma diagnosis and treatment statistics

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Acknowledgements

We are grateful to the many organisations across the UK which collect, analyse, and share the data which we use, and to the patients and public who consent for their data to be used. Find out more about the sources which are essential for our statistics.