Liposarcoma is a cancer of the soft tissue. It is cancer of the fat tissue. When observed histopathologically, it resembles fat cells. It is one of the rarest types of cancers. It is seen in adults above age 40 most of the times but can be seen in other age groups too. Though a liposarcoma may look and feel similar to a lipoma, these are totally two different conditions. A lipoma is just a fatty deposit of tissue and is not cancerous.
Is a Liposarcoma Painful?
Whether a liposarcoma is painful or not completely depends upon the site of the tumor and also how far it has progressed to. Usually, a liposarcoma develops in the limbs or in the abdomen. If it has started in a limb, there may be a noticeable bulge or a swelling. If the bulge grows quite big, it may compress an underlying nerve or blood vessels. This may cause severe pain and sometimes lack of blood supply to the affected limb. This may also cause some weakness in that particular limb. If the liposarcoma is in the abdomen, there may be unexplained, sudden weight gain. And this weight gain may seem perfectly normal as it may just look as if the tummy is growing due to the weight gain. However, there may be some serious symptoms associated with this. Like, there could be severe pain, constipation or sometimes loose motions, if the tumor grows too much and affects the organs responsible for digestion. Its growth can affect vital organs like liver and kidney, in turn causing liver failure or kidney failure.
There may be problem related to urination, like pain, if the tumor compresses the ureter. Sometimes, there could be blood in stools and stools could be blackish and sticky, due to the presence of blood in it. There could be appetite related issues, like loss of appetite or a feeling of fullness too soon after starting to eat. Sometimes, chest pain is also a symptom. If the tumor has grown and progressed quite far in the body, the symptoms could be related to that particular organ to which it has spread.
Some liposarcomas grow very slow, while some others grow far too quickly. Also, some of them reappear, despite the surgery being successful for the first time. It becomes far too essential to monitor the cases frequently and throughout the life.
Let us also have a look at the treatment protocol for liposarcoma. Similar to other cancers, the treatment includes three major regimens- surgery, radiation therapy (delivery of radiation to the affected sites) and chemotherapy (delivery of medications to the affected sites). Depending upon how far the cancer has progressed, the choice of treatment will be ascertained. If the cancer hasn’t spread too far, surgery can be the choice of treatment. Otherwise, surgery must be paired with either radiation therapy or chemotherapy or both. In some cancers, chemotherapy might not at all be the choice of treatment, as some cancers do not respond well to chemotherapy. Here, surgery followed by radiation therapy is the only choice, and the harmful effects of radiation on the body are yet another matter of concern here.
It is advisable to eat a healthy and nutritious diet while on the treatment of cancer, and otherwise too. Many of the vegetables and fruits are known to possess cancer fighting nutrients. It acts as a supportive treatment. Ayurveda has some wonderful drugs, like herbal formulations, mineral formulations and metallic compounds which are known to treat cancer without any side effects. These remedies when paired with proper lifestyle changes, yoga and meditation can help in overall well being of the person, giving him vital immunity to fight the cancer.
All in all, pain is quite relative when it comes to liposarcomas. It largely depends on the site of the cancer, the stage it has progressed to and the organs it has affected.