Liposarcoma is a rare cancer of connective tissues that is characterized by abnormal deposition of fat cells in soft tissues of the body. It is commonly seen in thighs, arms, abdomen, chest or neck. Nobody knows its exact causes. It affects mostly adults in their middle ages. The symptoms of liposarcoma include pain, swelling and tenderness in the involved part, fatigue, weakness and many more. MRI scan, CT scan, and skin biopsy can diagnose this cancer. It is usually managed by surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. But it returns back with poor prognosis even after successful treatment.

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Is Liposarcoma Life Threatening?

Is Liposarcoma Life Threatening?

Liposarcoma is a rare metastatic cancerous proliferation of fat cells in deep soft tissues. It mostly affects limbs, retro peritoneum of the abdomen and rarely head and neck. It can spread to other parts too. If it is not managed properly or not treated, it may result in serious damages to the organs and can become life threatening.

Liposarcoma is a rare type of cancer of connective tissue which is marked by abnormal deposition of fat cells into soft tissues leading to the formation of hard lumps in the involved part. These lumps may press the neighboring organ or part leading to various symptoms. It usually develops under the skin of limbs (arm, thigh or legs), and abdomen (retro peritoneum of organs of the abdomen). It rarely develops in head, neck and shoulder region. It can also spread to other parts. It is a slow growing cancer whose symptoms appear only when a tumor becomes too large to press adjacent tissues or organs.

The exact cause of liposarcoma is not available. Some scientists believe that it appears after a trauma. Some say that error genes can trigger the development of these cancerous cells. The risk factors for this cancer can be family history, exposure to radiation and certain chemicals.

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Its symptoms remain silent for a long period of time until the tumors grow big in size. The disease has different manifestations in different persons. The tumor formed is deep-seated and well vascularized. Patients realize its presence very late when the tumor blocks or causes bleeding in the involved parts.

The symptoms of liposarcoma are-

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Extremities- pain, swelling and weakness in the affected arm or legs may be present when one is suffering from liposarcoma. Varicose veins may get enlarged.

Abdomen- cancerous cells can develop in retro peritoneum that covers the abdominal organs. It may manifest symptoms like pain or swelling in the stomach, nausea, vomiting, constipation or blood in the stool. It may begin with 4-10 sarcomas in the belly

Urinary Systems- it may cause difficulty in urination, bloody urine and painful urination.

Lungs- pain in the chest is felt due to pressure on the lungs by neighboring tumors.

Diagnosis

MRI scans, CT scan, x-ray and skin biopsy can find out the cancerous growth in the involved areas of liposarcoma.

Treatment

The treatment is focused on the killing or removal of the cancerous growth from the affected areas. Liposarcoma can be treated by-

Chemotherapy- it helps in killing the cancer cells with medicines. It is usually used for small tumors and low-grade liposarcoma. It can also be used to kill remaining cancer cells after surgery

Radiation- it also kills liposarcoma cancer and ceases its spread to other organs. It can prevent its future relapses. Some patients may need it before, during or after surgery

Surgery- liposarcoma is usually treated by surgical removal of the cancerous cells from the affected part.

Liposarcoma has a poor prognosis. Its cancerous cells return back, grow and spread even after successful treatment. In this condition, you will require another surgery and other treatment. If it is left untreated, the cancerous cell may spread to other parts of the body. These cells can replace healthy cells and may damage the organ and the condition of the patient deteriorates further. This can lead to life threatening consequences.

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Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: October 15, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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