8.2 Suggested protocols
In asymptomatic patients treated for low grade soft tissue sarcomas, physicial exam, and ultrasonography if physical exam is difficult, are used to detect local relapses. Routine clinical examinations and possibly ultrasonograms may therefore be carried out at six-month intervals or more. Chest X-rays can be done at wider intervals, given the low risk of systemic spread. Follow-up will need to be continued for at least ten years. The patient must be taught of the risk of a local relapse.
In asymptomatic patients treated for high grade soft tissue sarcomas, in addition to local clinical examination and, possibly, ultrasonograms, regular chest X-rays every 2-3 months for 2-3 years, and thereafter less frequently, may be recommended on a type R basis (8.2.I) in that lung relapse is asymptomatic and potentially curable.
Casali P, Licitra L, Bertulli R, Balzarini L, Laffranchi A, Mariani L, et al. Routine follow-up chest X-ray for high grade soft tissue sarcomas: a decision analytical approach. Ann Oncol 1994; 5(Suppl 8): 171.
© European School of Oncology, 1996
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