What is Liposarcoma?

Sarcoma is a tumor that occurs in the connective tissues and affects the soft tissues of the fat, muscle, deep skin tissues, etc. Liposarcoma is a rare type of cancer in the fat cells and can occur in any part of the body, especially the thighs and the abdominal cavity. Usually, children who are in their teens and adults between the ages of 40 – 60 are more prone to facing such a condition.

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Types of Liposarcoma

Well-Differentiated Liposarcoma

The condition involves occurrence of lesions in places other than the retroperitoneum due to which they are also called an atypical lipomatous tumor. This tumor does not spread to other areas, but may reoccur in the same place from time to time. These tumors also have a lower malignancy.

This Liposarcoma can be classified into the following sub-types:

  • Lipoma-like
  • Inflammatory
  • Sclerosing

Differentiated Liposarcoma

It refers to a condition in which a poorly differentiated tumor lies next to a well-differentiated liposarcoma. Such a situation occurs when the new cells of a tumor change from its previous state of low-grade malignancy to high-grade malignancy.

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Pleomorphic Liposarcoma

Such kind of tumor occurs in people between the ages of 54 to 70 years. Pleomorphic liposarcoma accounts for almost 5% of all the tumors and are highly malignant. They have extensive cellular pleomorphism and irregular growth pattern. This condition occurs rarely during childhood.

Myxoid Liposarcoma

Round cell liposarcoma is another name for this rarest type of tumor that occurs in the fatty tissues. They are most likely to develop in the upper arms and thighs, although they may also occur in other parts of the body. They occur immediately below the surface of the skin as palpable growths and their growth may slow down over a period. If the tumor is diagnosed in the initial stages, its removal is possible through surgeries that can reduce the possibility of it becoming cancerous.

Mixed Liposarcoma

The tumor here is a mixture of all the above-mentioned types. They occur in people of older age group and usually affect the retroperitoneum. They may be yellow, gray or white and are large and solid in shape and size.

Liposarcoma Causes


The tumor could be a result of an infection. There has been an establishment of a link between the occurrence of this tumor and Epstein-Barr viral infection.

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Some people are of the opinion that certain other types of cancer could result in the development of soft tissue sarcoma. The spread of the cancer cells from one area to another can be a possible reason behind this condition.


Soft tissue sarcoma may pass on genetically. Some studies have shown that members of the same family belonging to the same generation suffer from this issue, thus hinting at a connection between heredity and the development of liposarcoma.


Certain conditions like Li-Fraumeni syndrome or Neurofibromatosis can increase the risk of having soft tissue sarcoma. These conditions are usually inherited from the family.

Liposarcoma Symptoms

  • Appearance of a lump that may be soft or firm to touch
  • Lumps are usually painless and grow slowly
  • Numbness
  • Painful swelling
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Chest pain
  • Decreased range of motion in the limbs
  • Pain and difficulty in urination
  • Enlargement of varicose veins
  • Constipation
  • Blood in stools
  • Feeling full sooner while eating

Liposarcoma in Dogs

Canine liposarcoma is a condition that affects elderly dogs and occurs due to alteration of DNA in dogs as they grow older. The prognosis of this health issue is poor in case of pets, which is why they are more prone to death due to such a problem in comparison to human beings. However, in case of a correct diagnosis in the initial stages of the tumor, it can be surgically removed, although there are chances of its recurrence in some cases.

Dogs may have the following symptoms:

  • Pain in the joints that persist
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lumps in the abdomen
  • Changes in movement or gait
  • Swelling of the legs
  • Difficulty in eating

Liposarcoma Diagnosis

  • Physical examination
  • Excisional biopsy
  • MRI scans
  • CT scans
  • X-ray

Liposarcoma Treatment

Invasive Treatment: Use of surgical methods to remove the cancerous growth.

  • Wide-Local Excision: It includes removal of some of the adjoining health tissues along with the removal of the cancerous tissues.
  • Amputation: Such a surgery comprises severing a part of the limb or the entire limb to remove large tumors that may occur in complex areas.
  • Limb-sparing Surgery: Use of multiple surgical methods to ensure the removal of the tumor while avoiding the possibility of amputating the limb.

Non-Invasive Treatment: It refers to treatment does not require any surgery or incision in the body of the individual.

  • Chemotherapy: Use of rays to kill small cancerous cells that may be undetectable through imaging or to shrink the size of the tumor before surgery.
  • Radiation: Use of this kind of treatment, either before or after the surgery to reduce the possibility of recurrence of the tumor.

Liposarcoma Medications

Eribulin mesylate: Patients who suffer from metastatic or unresectable liposarcoma and have taken anthracycline containing regimen before must try this medication to help in their treatment.

Trabectedin: The medicine is another alternative to Eribulin mesylate for patients who undergo similar health issues.

When to visit a Doctor?

Diagnosis of liposarcoma is difficult, especially during the initial stages of development of the tumor. It is essential that an individual consults a doctor as soon as he/she observes specific sign and symptoms that persist for a while without any significant reason. Early diagnosis of the tumor can help to reduce the pain and discomfort that people usually experience and help to treat the situation faster.

Liposarcoma Pictures:

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