Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

Liposarcoma is a rare type of cancer of connective tissues that arise from abnormal fat cells of deep soft tissues. It usually occurs in people in the age of 40 to 60 years. Any part of the body especially in the thigh and the abdominal cavity can be affected by liposarcoma. Its causes are not known but it is usually observed after trauma. Its symptoms include painful swelling under the skin, fatigue, abdominal pain and chest pain, difficulty in swallowing and urination, nausea, vomiting and restricted movement of the limbs. It is diagnosed by ultrasound, MRI scan, CT scan, and skin biopsy. It is treated mainly by surgery.

What is The Survival Rate of Liposarcoma?

The survival rate of liposarcoma depends on the size, depth, site and its spread to the lymph nodes. Its manifestations are different in different individuals. Its prognosis is poor. The survival rate is 5 years for men and women with liposarcoma. It is about 50 % over five years for high-grade liposarcoma. The survival rate can exceed 5- years in cases where the tumors are slow growing. Even after treatment, the liposarcoma may relapse again.

Liposarcoma is a rare malignant tumor that develops from the abnormal growth of fat cells in soft tissues in an uncontrolled manner. The affected parts of our body are shoulder area, retro peritoneum, thigh, gluteal region, and leg. It mainly affects people in their middle age. It accounts for less than 1% of all newly diagnosed cancers.

The exact reason behind this uncontrolled growth of fat cells is not clear. Many kinds of research reveal that liposarcoma may develop after trauma in the form of a hard lump. The risk factors of liposarcoma can be a family history of cancer, radiation, exposure to certain chemicals like dioxin, vinyl chloride and lymph node damages.
The symptoms develop gradually and are dependent on the affected part, its location and its extent to distant parts. Its symptoms are experienced when the tumors become too large to render pressure on the neighboring organs. These symptoms can be-

Extremities- pain, swelling and weakness in the affected arm or legs may be present. 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.

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.

Types of Liposarcoma

There are four types of liposarcoma-

Well-differentiated- this type of liposarcoma is most common that is slow growing, and low-grade cancer. The tumor cells are similar to fat cells.

Myxoid or Round- this liposarcoma 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 liposarcoma type is a high-grade tumor that develops from low-grade cancer cells.

Diagnosis of Liposarcoma

It can be diagnosed by CT scan, X-ray, MRI scan and skin biopsy.

Treatment for Liposarcoma

Its treatment depends on the type and location of the tumor cells. It can be treated by following ways-

Surgery – Surgery is done to remove a tumor from its position.

Radiation- for shrinking the tumor cells before surgery or to kill remaining cancer cells after surgery

Chemotherapy- It is effective only in low-grade liposarcoma and used to slow down the fast-growing cancer cells.

Conclusion

Liposarcoma is a rare type of cancer of deep soft tissues. It is most common in middle-aged adults and rarely seen in children. The prognosis is very poor as the survival rate of its patients after successful treatment is 5 years for both men and women. If the tumors in liposarcoma are slow growing, then the survival rate can exceed above 5 years.

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Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: November 28, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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