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J Surg Oncol. 2011 Dec;104(7):771-5. doi: 10.1002/jso.22006. Epub 2011 Jul 8.

The symptom-to-diagnosis delay in soft tissue sarcoma influence the overall survival and the development of distant metastasis.

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  • 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Mie University Graduate School of Medicine, Tsu-city, Mie, Japan.



There are very few reports regarding the impact of the symptom that caused patients to consult a doctor and the symptom-to-diagnosis delay on survival for soft tissue sarcoma patients. The purpose of this study is to investigate whether symptom-treatment delay are associated with the presence of metastasis at diagnosis, overall survival and distant metastasis-free survival in primary soft tissue sarcomas.


This study retrospectively reviewed the medical records of 100 newly diagnosed patients with primary soft tissue sarcoma referred to our hospital.


Eighteen of 100 sarcoma patients had distant metastases at diagnosis. A multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that tumor size, tumor site, and the interval between the onset of the initial symptom and the first consultation to our hospital were all found to be significant predictors of distant metastases at diagnosis. The patients (n = 48) who were treated within the first 6 months from the onset of the initial symptom showed significantly better cumulative overall survival rate than those (n = 34) who were diagnosed more than 6 months (5-years: 77.0% vs. 59.7%).


These results suggest that a shorter delay may have a beneficial effect on treatment options and outcome, improving survival in some sarcoma patients.

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