Soft tissue sarcomas (STS) are a large group of tumours derived from mesenchymal tissues. STS may arise anywhere in the body, but most commonly appear on the appendicular skeleton. They typically present as a firm, discrete and expansile mass. They can present the clinician with significant challenges with respect to management. When treated appropriately, the prognosis for the majority of dogs is good, provided a complete resection has been achieved. However, about 20 to 30 per cent of dogs may ultimately die of their disease due to unresectable local recurrence or metastatic disease. Surgery is the mainstay for the treatment of STS, but inclusion of radiation therapy may allow for a reduction in surgical margins, or the control of incomplete resections. A role for chemotherapy remains unclear. This article reviews the diagnostic and treatment options available for STS, and seeks to improve awareness of the many questions and uncertainties that remain with regards to their management.
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