Statistics at a Glance

At a Glance

Estimated New Cases in 2022 13,190

% of All New Cancer Cases 0.7%

Estimated Deaths in 2022 5,130

% of All Cancer Deaths 0.8%

5-Year
Relative Survival

65.4% 2012–2018
Year Rate of New Cases — SEER 8 Rate of New Cases — SEER 12 Death Rate — U.S. 5-Year Relative Survival — SEER 8
Observed Modeled Trend Observed Modeled Trend Observed Modeled Trend Observed Modeled Trend
1975 2.21 2.12 - - 0.90 0.83 60.06% 62.91%
1976 2.24 2.15 - - 0.86 0.90 63.67% 63.06%
1977 2.34 2.18 - - 0.92 0.97 61.47% 63.20%
1978 2.47 2.21 - - 0.94 1.04 65.59% 63.34%
1979 2.27 2.24 - - 1.23 1.12 55.09% 63.49%
1980 2.14 2.27 - - 1.22 1.21 68.99% 63.63%
1981 2.14 2.30 - - 1.26 1.23 61.51% 63.77%
1982 2.31 2.33 - - 1.23 1.24 59.78% 63.91%
1983 2.40 2.36 - - 1.26 1.26 66.06% 64.05%
1984 2.48 2.39 - - 1.28 1.28 62.88% 64.19%
1985 2.26 2.43 - - 1.33 1.30 65.02% 64.33%
1986 2.31 2.46 - - 1.29 1.31 66.08% 64.47%
1987 2.35 2.49 - - 1.35 1.33 64.94% 64.61%
1988 2.45 2.52 - - 1.32 1.35 65.40% 64.75%
1989 2.29 2.56 - - 1.31 1.37 67.23% 64.89%
1990 2.55 2.59 - - 1.36 1.39 61.32% 65.03%
1991 2.67 2.63 - - 1.39 1.41 67.85% 65.17%
1992 2.60 2.66 2.59 2.65 1.41 1.43 65.78% 65.30%
1993 2.53 2.70 2.63 2.68 1.49 1.45 69.82% 65.44%
1994 2.65 2.74 2.66 2.72 1.49 1.47 62.47% 65.58%
1995 2.89 2.77 2.74 2.76 1.50 1.49 67.93% 65.71%
1996 2.84 2.81 2.97 2.80 1.50 1.51 67.81% 65.85%
1997 3.08 2.85 3.00 2.84 1.55 1.53 67.09% 65.98%
1998 2.90 2.89 2.83 2.88 1.49 1.46 64.72% 66.12%
1999 2.93 2.92 2.85 2.92 1.34 1.39 68.12% 66.25%
2000 3.04 2.96 2.96 2.96 1.32 1.33 66.41% 66.39%
2001 3.00 3.00 2.98 3.00 1.29 1.27 64.95% 66.52%
2002 2.95 3.04 2.93 3.04 1.24 1.27 65.39% 66.66%
2003 3.05 3.09 2.98 3.09 1.25 1.27 67.51% 66.79%
2004 3.28 3.13 3.29 3.13 1.25 1.28 69.78% 66.92%
2005 3.39 3.17 3.32 3.17 1.27 1.28 69.03% 67.05%
2006 3.13 3.21 3.18 3.22 1.29 1.28 65.48% 67.19%
2007 3.32 3.26 3.25 3.26 1.29 1.29 65.37% 67.32%
2008 3.37 3.30 3.38 3.31 1.29 1.29 65.51% 67.45%
2009 3.42 3.34 3.33 3.35 1.30 1.29 68.06% 67.58%
2010 3.37 3.39 3.37 3.40 1.33 1.29 68.65% 67.71%
2011 3.24 3.43 3.23 3.45 1.31 1.30 66.85% 67.84%
2012 3.45 3.48 3.51 3.50 1.33 1.30 67.30% 67.97%
2013 3.53 3.53 3.65 3.55 1.31 1.30 68.86% 68.10%
2014 3.50 3.58 3.57 3.60 1.34 1.31 71.01% 68.23%
2015 3.45 3.50 3.50 3.53 1.32 1.31 - 68.36%
2016 3.52 3.43 3.48 3.46 1.31 1.31 - 68.48%
2017 3.42 3.35 3.52 3.40 1.33 1.32 - 68.61%
2018 3.13 3.28 3.27 3.33 1.32 1.32 - 68.74%
2019 3.26 3.21 3.24 3.27 1.28 1.32 - 68.86%
2020 - - - - 1.27 1.33 - 68.99%

New cases come from SEER 12. Deaths come from U.S. Mortality.
All Races, Both Sexes. Rates are Age-Adjusted.
Modeled trend lines were calculated from the underlying rates using the Joinpoint Trend Analysis Software.

New cases are also referred to as incident cases in other publications. Rates of new cases are also referred to as incidence rates.


Rate of New Cases and Deaths per 100,000: The rate of new cases of soft tissue cancer was 3.4 per 100,000 men and women per year. The death rate was 1.3 per 100,000 men and women per year. These rates are age-adjusted and based on 2015–2019 cases and 2016–2020 deaths.

Lifetime Risk of Developing Cancer: Approximately 0.3 percent of men and women will be diagnosed with soft tissue cancer at some point during their lifetime, based on 2017–2019 data.

Prevalence of This Cancer: In 2019, there were an estimated 160,079 people living with soft tissue cancer in the United States.

Survival Statistics

How Many People Survive 5 Years Or More after Being Diagnosed with Soft Tissue Cancer?

Relative survival is an estimate of the percentage of patients who would be expected to survive the effects of their cancer. It excludes the risk of dying from other causes. Because survival statistics are based on large groups of people, they cannot be used to predict exactly what will happen to an individual patient. No two patients are entirely alike, and treatment and responses to treatment can vary greatly.

65.4%

5-Year
Relative Survival

65.4%

Based on data from SEER 17 2012–2018. Gray figures represent those who have died from soft tissue cancer. Green figures represent those who have survived 5 years or more.

Survival by Stage

Cancer stage at diagnosis, which refers to extent of a cancer in the body, determines treatment options and has a strong influence on the length of survival. In general, if the cancer is found only in the part of the body where it started it is localized (sometimes referred to as stage 1). If it has spread to a different part of the body, the stage is regional or distant. The earlier soft tissue cancer is caught, the better chance a person has of surviving five years after being diagnosed. For soft tissue cancer, 59.1% are diagnosed at the local stage. The 5-year relative survival for localized soft tissue cancer is 81.5%.

Percent of Cases & 5-Year Relative Survival by Stage at Diagnosis: Soft Tissue Cancer
Stage Percent of Cases 5-Year Relative Survival
Localized
Confined to Primary Site
59% 81.5%
Regional
Spread to Regional Lymph Nodes
19% 57.8%
Distant
Cancer Has Metastasized
16% 17.1%
Unknown
Unstaged
7% 56.9%

SEER 17 2012–2018, All Races, Both Sexes by SEER Combined Summary Stage

New Cases and Deaths

How Common Is This Cancer?

Compared to other cancers, soft tissue cancer is rare.

Rank Common Types of Cancer Estimated New
Cases 2022
Estimated
Deaths 2022
1. Breast Cancer (Female) 287,850 43,250
2. Prostate Cancer 268,490 34,500
3. Lung and Bronchus Cancer 236,740 130,180
4. Colorectal Cancer 151,030 52,580
5. Melanoma of the Skin 99,780 7,650
6. Bladder Cancer 81,180 17,100
7. Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma 80,470 20,250
8. Kidney and Renal Pelvis Cancer 79,000 13,920
9. Uterine Cancer 65,950 12,550
10. Pancreatic Cancer 62,210 49,830
- - -
21. Soft Tissue Cancer 13,190 5,130

Soft tissue cancer represents 0.7% of all new cancer cases in the U.S.

0.7%

In 2022, it is estimated that there will be 13,190 new cases of soft tissue cancer and an estimated 5,130 people will die of this disease.

Who Gets This Cancer?

Soft tissue cancer is more common in men than women. Past treatment with radiation therapy, exposure to chemicals such as arsenic, and having certain inherited disorders like retinoblastoma are associated with this cancer. The rate of new cases of soft tissue cancer was 3.4 per 100,000 men and women per year based on 2015–2019 cases, age-adjusted.

Rate of New Cases per 100,000 Persons by Race/Ethnicity & Sex: Soft Tissue including Heart Cancer
Males
All Races 4.1
Non-Hispanic White 4.2
Non-Hispanic Black 4.0
Non-Hispanic Asian/Pacific Islander 3.3
Non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaska Native 4.4
Hispanic 3.6
Females
All Races 2.9
Non-Hispanic White 2.8
Non-Hispanic Black 3.2
Non-Hispanic Asian/Pacific Islander 2.3
Non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaska Native 2.4
Hispanic 2.9

SEER 22 2015–2019, Age-Adjusted

Percent of New Cases by Age Group: Soft Tissue Cancer
Age Range Percent of New Cases
<20 7.6%
20–34 9.2%
35–44 8.4%
45–54 12.4%
55–64 18.6%
65–74 20.6%
75–84 15.5%
>84 7.7%

Soft tissue cancer is most frequently diagnosed among people aged 65–74.

Median Age
At Diagnosis

61

SEER 22 2015–2019, All Races, Both Sexes

Who Dies From This Cancer?

For soft tissue cancer, death rates increase with age. Men are slightly more likely than women to die of this cancer. The death rate was 1.3 per 100,000 men and women per year based on 2016–2020 deaths, age-adjusted.

Death Rate per 100,000 Persons by Race/Ethnicity & Sex: Soft Tissue including Heart Cancer
Males
All Races 1.5
Non-Hispanic White 1.5
Non-Hispanic Black 1.6
Non-Hispanic Asian/Pacific Islander 1.0
Non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaska Native 1.3
Hispanic 1.2
Females
All Races 1.1
Non-Hispanic White 1.1
Non-Hispanic Black 1.5
Non-Hispanic Asian/Pacific Islander 0.8
Non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaska Native 1.2
Hispanic 1.0

U.S. 2016–2020, Age-Adjusted

Percent of Deaths by Age Group: Soft Tissue Cancer
Age Range Percent of Deaths
<20 3.3%
20–34 5.3%
35–44 5.8%
45–54 10.7%
55–64 19.7%
65–74 23.4%
75–84 20.0%
>84 11.8%

The percent of soft tissue cancer deaths is highest among people aged 65–74.

Median Age
At Death

67

U.S. 2016–2020, All Races, Both Sexes

Trends in Rates

Changes Over Time

Keeping track of new cases, deaths, and survival over time (trends) can help scientists understand whether progress is being made and where additional research is needed to address challenges, such as improving screening or finding better treatments.

Using statistical models for analysis, age-adjusted rates for new soft tissue cancer cases have not changed significantly over 2010–2019. Age-adjusted death rates have been rising on average 0.2% each year over 2011–2020. 5-year relative survival trends are shown below.

Interactive Statistics with SEER*Explorer

With SEER*Explorer, you can...
  • Create custom graphs and tables
  • Download data and images
  • Share links to results

SEER*Explorer is an interactive website that provides easy access to a wide range of SEER cancer statistics. It provides detailed statistics for a cancer site by gender, race, calendar year, age, and for a selected number of cancer sites, by stage and histology.

Explore Additional Soft Tissue Cancer Statistics

More About This Cancer

Soft Tissue Cancer

Soft tissue cancer occurs when cancerous (malignant) cells form in the soft tissues of the body. Soft tissues of the body include the heart, muscles, tendons, fat, blood vessels, lymph vessels, nerves and tissues around joints.

Soft tissue cancers can form almost anywhere in the body, but are most common in the head, neck, arm, legs, trunk, and abdomen. A sign of soft tissue cancer is a lump or swelling in soft tissue of the body. Soft tissue cancers can be diagnosed with a biopsy.

There are many types of soft tissue cancers, including:

Additional Information

More Information

Here are some resources for learning more about soft tissue cancer.

References

All statistics in this report are based on statistics from SEER and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics. Most can be found within SEER*Explorer.

Suggested Citation

All material in this report is in the public domain and may be reproduced or copied without permission; citation as to source, however, is appreciated.

SEER Cancer Stat Facts: Soft Tissue Cancer. National Cancer Institute. Bethesda, MD, https://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/soft.html

These stat facts focus on population statistics that are based on the U.S. population. Because these statistics are based on large groups of people, they cannot be used to predict exactly what will happen to an individual patient. To see tailored statistics, browse SEER*Explorer. To see statistics for a specific state, go to the State Cancer Profiles.

The statistics presented in these stat facts are based on the most recent data available, most of which can be found in SEER*Explorer. In some cases, different year spans may be used.

Estimates of new cases and deaths for 2022 are projections made by the American Cancer Society (ACS), based on earlier reported data.

Cancer is a complex topic. There is a wide range of information available. These stat facts do not address causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, follow-up care, or decision making, although links are provided to information in many of these areas.