Life After Treatment

A cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming – physically, mentally, emotionally and financially.

Sometimes, surgical treatment for bone sarcoma can have debilitating effects on your body image and self-esteem, caused by a noticeable scar or an amputated limb. Such physical changes can be overwhelming and it is important to give yourself time to adapt to any changes in your appearance.

Mental and emotional supports are important and there are people out there to help you through.

You may find it helps to:

  • Learn more about the type of sarcoma diagnosed to make decisions about your care.
    • Ask your doctor about the type of sarcoma diagnosed, including your treatment options and, if you like, your prognosis (the likely outcome of the sarcoma).
    • As you learn more about sarcoma, you may become more confident in making treatment and lifestyle decisions.
  • Keep friends and family close.
    • Keeping your close relationships strong will help you deal with your sarcoma.
    • Friends and family can provide the much needed physical, mental, emotional and even financial support you will need.
  • Find someone to talk with.
    • Many people find it helps to talk things through. Find a good listener who is willing to listen to you talk about your hopes and fears.
    • This may be a friend, family member, counsellor, medical social worker or joining a cancer support group.

If the Cancer Comes Back

For some people, sarcoma does come back after treatment, which is known as a relapse. The risk that sarcoma will recur is greater within the first five years after treatment. Treatment of relapsed sarcoma depends on the extent of the disease and feasibility of further surgery or other treatment.

In some cases, sarcoma is of an advanced stage and no longer curable. In this situation, treatment will focus on managing your symptoms and improving your quality of life with the use of various palliative treatment options, including chemotherapy or radiotherapy. Surgery is rarely used in this circumstance. Involving the palliative care team early is important in helping address symptoms.