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What is liposarcoma?

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If you're diagnosed with liposarcoma, you've got a sort of cancer that starts in fat cells. It is a rare sort of soft tissue sarcoma, cancer that starts in soft tissues like muscle, nerves, tendon, or fat.

There are five sorts of liposarcoma:


Well-differentiated liposarcoma. it is the commonest type, and it tends to grow slowly. it always doesn't spread to other parts of your body.

  • Myxoid liposarcoma. This is often the second commonest type. It can grow faster than well-differentiated tumors, and it's more likely to spread to other parts of your body. Its cells can form a singular shape or pattern.

  • Round cell. This sort also can grow faster than well-differentiated tumors and is usually found within the arms or legs.

  • Dedifferentiated liposarcoma. you've got this sort when a slow-growing tumor starts to vary to a faster-growing, more aggressive type.

  • Pleomorphic liposarcoma. It is a less-common sort of cancer and sometimes spreads very quickly.

Liposarcoma can happen at any age, but it's commonest between ages 50 and 65.


Liposarcoma may be a rare cancer of connective tissues that resemble fat cells under a microscope. It accounts for up to 18% of all soft tissue sarcomas. Liposarcoma can occur in almost any part of the body, but quite half of the liposarcoma cases involve the thigh, and up to a 3rd involve the abdomen.

Liposarcoma tends to affect adults between the ages of 40 and 60. When it does occur in children, it's usually during the teenage years.

There are four sorts of liposarcoma, each with its unique characteristics and behaviors.

Well-differentiated liposarcoma is the commonest subtype and typically starts as a coffee-grade tumor. Low-grade tumor cells look very similar to normal fat cells under the microscope and tend to grow and alter slowly.

Myxoid liposarcoma is an intermediate to high-grade tumor. Its cells look less normal under the microscope and should have a high-grade component.

Pleomorphic liposarcoma is that the rarest subtype and maybe a high-grade tumor with cells that look very different from normal cells.

Dedifferentiated liposarcoma occurs when a coffee-grade tumor changes, and therefore the newer cells within the tumor are high grade.

The risk of recurrence and metastasis with liposarcoma increases with the higher grade.

What causes liposarcoma?


Scientists don't yet know the explanation for liposarcoma. Although patients sometimes notice a tumor after they experience an injury, liposarcoma isn't known to be caused by trauma. it's also not known to develop from benign lipomas, which are harmless lumps of fat.

What are the symptoms of liposarcoma?


Most people with liposarcoma don't feel sick. they could notice a lump (which is often soft or firm to the touch) that's usually painless and slow-growing. Unfortunately, tumors within the abdomen can grow to be quite large before they're found.

You may find that your tumor isn't sore or painful initially. But it'll still grow and can eventually cause problems or start to harm. For instance, if the liposarcoma tumor forms somewhere in your belly, it's going to push against your stomach or other organs.

The symptoms of liposarcoma depend upon where the tumor is on your body, but they include:

  • A new or growing lump beneath your skin, especially around or behind your knees or on your thighs

  • Pain or swelling

  • Weakness in an arm or leg that has the lump

  • Feeling full soon after you begin eating

  • Constipation

  • Poop that has blood or looks black or tarry

  • Cramping

  • Bloody vomit

  • Your belly gets larger

How is liposarcoma diagnosed?

A physical exam is the initiative within the liposarcoma diagnosis process. Lumps that are 5cm or larger and deep-seated, firm, and glued to underlying structures are usually considered suspicious. Imaging tests are subsequent steps and sometimes include an X-ray and an MRI. An experienced radiologist might suspect the diagnosis supported the results of those tests.

There are two main sorts of biopsy: a needle and a surgical biopsy. the situation, incision, and technical aspects of the biopsy can affect a patient’s treatment options and outcome. Therefore, the biopsy must be planned by a surgeon or radiologist experienced with sarcomas.

The results of the biopsy and imaging studies provide physicians with a thought of the “extent of spread,” or stage, of disease which will be wont to create a treatment plan.

How is liposarcoma treated?

Surgery is the treatment for primary liposarcomas that haven't yet spread to other organs. In most cases, a surgeon will remove the tumor, alongside a good margin of healthy tissue around the tumor, to leave the world free from disease and prevent the tumor from returning. Most tumors of the arms and legs are often successfully removed while sparing the involved limb. Occasionally, in about 5% of cases, an amputation is the best thanks to completely removing cancer and restoring the patient to a functional life. Complete surgical removal of tumors within the abdomen is difficult, partially due to the problem of getting clear margins of normal tissue.

The combination of surgery and radiotherapy has been shown to stop recurrence at the surgical site in about 85-90% of liposarcoma cases. These results vary counting on the subtype of sarcoma that's involved. Radiotherapy could also be used before, during, or after surgery to kill tumor cells and reduce the prospect of the tumor returning within the same location. Radiotherapy that's given before surgery could also be more beneficial, but it also can make it harder for surgical wounds to heal.

The role of chemotherapy within the treatment of liposarcoma isn't clearly defined, but it's going to be recommended in certain situations where patients are at high risk of recurrence or have already got the widespread disease.

The prognosis for patients with liposarcoma

Prognosis statistics have supported the study of groups of liposarcoma patients. These statistics cannot predict the longer term of a private patient, but they will be useful in considering the foremost appropriate treatment and follow-up for a patient.

Liposarcoma prognosis is a reported supported disease subtype. Five-year disease-specific survival rates (chances of not dying from cancer-related causes) are as follows: 100% in well-differentiated liposarcoma, 88% in myxoid liposarcoma, and 56% in pleomorphic liposarcoma. Ten-year survival rates are 87% in well-differentiated liposarcoma, 76% in myxoid liposarcoma, and 39% in pleomorphic liposarcoma. However, the location of the disease features a strong effect on the prognosis of well-differentiated and dedifferentiated liposarcoma. If these liposarcomas arise within the abdomen, complete eradication of the tumor within the future is a smaller amount common. This is often probably because it's difficult for the surgeon to completely remove tumors during this location.

How are patients followed after treatment?

Routine follow-up will continue throughout the patient’s life. It always includes a physical examination and imaging studies. An MRI or CT scan of the first tumor location is typical, and a chest x-ray or CT imaging is employed to detect metastasis

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