Prevalence of Malignant Soft Tissue Tumors inExtremities: An Epidemiological Study in Syria

Document Type : RESEARCH PAPER


1 Orthopedic Department, Shohada Hospital, Faculty of Medicine, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran

2 The Chief of Surgery and Orthopedic Surgery, Department of Damascus University, Movasat and Beyrooni Teaching Hospital, Damascus, Syria


Although the majority of soft tissue masses are benign, it is important to consider malignancy in differential diagnoses. Because most soft tissue sarcomas present as a painless mass, clinicians must watch for signs suggestive of malignancy, including large size, rapid growth, and site deep into the deep fascia.The purpose of this study was to determine the relative prevalence according to sex and age, site of tumor, skeletal distribution, and treatment (surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy) before and after surgery, and ascertain the relative frequency of these tumors in specific anatomic sites and age groups based on pathological studies.
A total of 308 patients, with a musculoskeletal tumor were evaluated retrospectively. All of the patients enrolled into this study were referred to the Beirouni Hospital of Damascus University with a proven diagnosis of alignant soft tissue tumors from the beginning of January 2008 until the end of 2010. The prevalence of the malignant soft tissue tumors in these patients was analyzed. For purposes of analysis, all lesions were placed in 1 of 9 categories: hand and wrist, forearm, humorous (arm), proximal limb girdle (axilla and shoulder), foot and ankle, thigh, hip and buttocks region, trunk, and other lesions. Age and sex also were recorded.
Malignant tumors consisted of seven diagnostic categories: malignant fibrous histiocytoma (23%), liposarcoma (22%), rhabdomyosarcoma (9%), leiomyosarcoma (8%), malignant schwannoma (5%), dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (5%), synovial sarcoma (10%), fibrosarcoma (13%), extraskeletal chondrosarcoma (1%), and extraskeletal Ewing sarcoma (4%).
Despite the multitude of pathologic possibilities, most malignant soft-tissue tumors are classified into a small number of diagnoses. These may be further defined when the site of the lesion and the age of the patient are considered. Knowledge of tumor prevalence will assist radiologists in establishing a suitably ordered differential diagnosis when a soft-tissue tumor has a nonspecific radiologic appearance.


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