What Are The Symptoms Of Liposarcoma?

Liposarcoma is a rare cancer of connective tissue which is characterized by abnormal proliferation of fat cells into deep soft tissues. It can occur in any part of the body but commonly affects extremities and abdomen. Liposarcoma commonly affects adults of middle age, but it can develop at any age. Liposarcoma symptoms include swelling and pain in the affected area, and many more. It is diagnosed by MRI scan, CT scan and skin biopsy. It is mainly treated by surgical excision of the cancerous cells, but radiation and chemotherapy can also be used.

What Are The Symptoms Of Liposarcoma?

What Are the Symptoms of Liposarcoma?

The tumors formed in liposarcoma are deep-seated and well supplied by blood vessels. They are formed by abnormal growth and proliferation of the fat cells in muscles. They tend to grow in extremities, retroperitoneum, head and neck area. However, they can grow in any part of the body. They grow slowly and unfortunately manifest symptoms only when tumors grow large in size to press neighboring areas.

In skin, they develop in cutis and subcutis, they grow insidiously in the form of a dome or polypoid lesions. The cancerous cells accumulate in the dermis. In retro peritoneum, they are again slow growing and can cause pain and tenderness when they grow in a large size that can occupy enough space to render pressure on the adjacent areas. Its presence is realized when cancerous cells cause blockage or bleeding in the bowels or stomach. It may begin with 4-10 sarcomas in the belly. Very rarely, cancerous growth starts in the head, neck or chest.

Due to slow growth and absence of significant symptoms, the patients report symptoms lately. Physicians do not rely on the patients’ estimation of clinical duration. Liposarcoma symptoms in extremities can be-

Liposarcoma is a malignant tumor that grows slowly in the deep soft tissues. Abnormal fat cells proliferate in the muscles of the affected area in an uncontrolled manner. The areas that are commonly affected by liposarcoma are shoulder area, retroperitoneum of the abdomen, gluteal region, thigh, and leg. Adults of middle age commonly develop this cancer, but children can also develop it. It accounts for less than 1% of all newly diagnosed cancers.

There are four types of liposarcoma-

Well-Differentiated– this type of liposarcoma is most common and it is slow growing and low-grade cancer. The tumor cells are similar to fat cells.

Myxoid or Round– this type is a moderate or a high-grade tumor that is characterized by distinct round cells. These cells spread faster than low-grade tumors.

Pleomorphic– this type of liposarcoma is the rarest and aggressive one.

Dedifferentiated– this type is a high-grade tumor that develops from low-grade cancer cells.

The exact cause for the development of this cancer is still not clear. The scientists are working on this. Some researchers noted that liposarcoma developed after a trauma to the affected area. Some physicians believe that certain mutations in the genetic makeup of an individual can trigger this rapid multiplication of the fat cells. Family history, exposure to radiation and certain chemicals such as dioxin vinyl chloride, etc. and damages to lymph nodes are the risk factors of liposarcoma.


Liposarcoma is a rare cancerous growth of fat cells in the deep soft tissues usually in extremities, abdomen, rarely in the neck, head, shoulder and chest. It causes pain, swelling and tenderness in the affected part with weakness and fatigue.

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Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 23, 2021

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