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Soft Tissue Sarcoma B009

Last amended 
10 December 2019
Current RMA Instruments
Reasonable Hypothesis SOP
5 of 2015 as amended
Balance of Probabilities SOP
6 of 2015 as amended
Changes from previous Instruments

SOP Bulletin 179

ICD Coding
  • ICD-9-CM Codes: 155.01, 155.02, 158.0, 160.0, 161.3, 171.0, 171.2-9
  • ICD-10-AM Codes: C22.3, C22.4, C30.0, C32.3, C47, C48, C49
Brief description

Soft tissue sarcomas are a group of primary malignant neoplasms arising in "soft" connective tissue (e.g. muscle, tendon, ligaments, dermis, fat, blood vessels, fibrous tissue and non-skeletal cartilage, but not bone or articular cartilage).  Soft tissue sarcomas are uncommon, making up < 1% of adult cancers.

Confirming the diagnosis

The diagnosis is based on histopathology of a biopsy or excised lesion.

The relevant medical specialist is an oncologist.

Additional diagnoses covered by SOP
  • angiosarcoma
  • atypical fibroxanthoma
  • chondrosarcoma of non-skeletal cartilage (nose, ear etc)
  • Ewing sarcoma arising in soft tissue
  • haemangiosarcoma
  • leiomyosarcoma
  • liposarcoma
  • lymphangiosarcoma
  • malignant fibrous histiocytoma
  • malignant mixed mullerian tumours
  • malignant nerve sheath tumour
  • malignant schwannoma
  • mullerian adenosarcoma
  • neurosarcoma
  • rhabdomyosarcoma
  • synovial sarcoma
Conditions not covered by SOP
  • chondrosarcoma, skeletal* - malignant neoplasm of bone and articular cartilage SOP
  • Ewing sarcoma of bone* - malignant neoplasm of bone and articular cartilage SOP
  • Kaposi sarcoma*
  • lymphosarcoma* - non-Hodgkin lymphoma SOP
  • mesothelioma*
  • osteosarcoma* - malignant neoplasm of bone and articular cartilage SOP
  • reticulosarcoma* - non-Hodgkin lymphoma SOP
  • Benign neoplasms – meningioma, neuroma
  • Haemopoietic neoplasia – leukaemia
  • Hodgkin's lymphoma*
  • Malignant neoplasm of articular cartilage*
  • Malignant neoplasm of bone*
  • Malignant neoplasm of brain or cerebral meninges*
  • Malignant neoplasm of larynx*
  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma*

* another SOP applies

Clinical onset

Soft tissue sarcomas usually present as a gradually enlarging painless mass. There may be symptoms associated with the site of the tumour or compression of adjacent structures.

Clinical worsening

The only SOP worsening factor is for inability to obtain appropriate clinical management.  Treatment is tailored for the circumstances of an individual case.  The outcome also varies widely depending on tumour type, stage and grade.