What is Liposarcoma?
This is a tumor that shows up in the fat cells that are located in the deep soft tissue which can happen anywhere in your body and is often referred to as a low-grade malignant form of tumor. This means that after you remove them that they can recur again but do not metastasize often to other organs of your body. You find liposarcoma in patients who are between the ages of fifty and seventy with men being slightly more affected than women are. It is a common form of sarcoma tumors and occurs in the United States in approximately one thousand two hundred fifty people each year. Children are the only ones that is least affected by this condition with only approximately five percent of the cases being children. If it does happen in children they are usually in their teens. World-wide there is usually one case in fifty thousand people.
Types of Liposarcoma
There are four different types of liposarcoma. Each one has their own unique behaviors and characteristics. These include:
This is a subtype that is common and normally starts out as a tumor that is low grade. The cells of a low grade tumor look someone like fat cells are normal and change and grow slowly. This type can occur in your thighs and legs. It may also be found in your arms, back, or abdomen. This type does not spread to other places.
This subtype is one of the rarest and is considered to be a high grade tumor. The cells of this type of tumor look very different from cells that are normal. This type has very little to no fat and can be found in your leg muscles also. This subtype will usually spread to your bones, lungs, brain, and liver.
This subtype happens when a tumor that is low grade changes with the new tumor cells becoming a high grade tumor. This type is usually found in your abdomen or back and can spread to other parts of your body such as your bones or lungs.
This subtype is from an intermediate to high grad tumor. The tumor cells do not look normal under a microscope and could have the component of high grade. This type is normally found in your legs muscles and can spread to the tissue that covers your heart and lungs.
A person can also have mixed liposarcoma with is more than one type and usually grows in the abdomen.
This type of cancer is usually slow growing and painless. Most of the tumors that are emerging are approximately point seventy-five to four inches across. There is a possibility that you may be able to feel it or see it under your skin. As the tumor continues to grow this is when you may start to feel pain, especially when it starts to grow and press on your blood vessels and nerves. The type of symptoms that you might have depends on where the tumor is located. Some of the symptoms that a patient may have include
- If the tumor is in a limb like your arms or legs, you may see movement that has decreased.
- Noticing some swelling and pain in the area where the tumor is.
- Having pain in your chest
- Having constipation or diarrhea
- Having bowel movements that are bloody
- Having pains in your abdomen
- Having pain or trouble urinating
- Experiencing weight loss
- Having trouble swallowing
- Having trouble breathing or speaking
At this time scientist are not sure what causes liposarcoma but there have been some reports of patients noticing a lump, or tumor, after being injury. Scientists are saying that they are not caused by trauma and that they are not developed from benign lipomas.
The primary treatment for liposarcoma that has not spread to any other area of your body, especially not to any of the organs, would be surgery. During surgery they will remove not only the tumor but some of the healthy tissue that is around the tumor. The surgeon wants to do is make sure that they are leaving the area with no diseases and have prevented it returning. If the tumor is in the legs or arms many of these tumors can be removed successfully without damaging the limb. Unfortunately in five percent of the surgical cases the limb has to be amputated so the cancer can be removed completely.
In eighty-five to ninety percent of liposarcoma cases the physician will use a combination of radiation therapy and surgery. They may use radiation therapy before, during, or after having the surgery to help decrease the chance of it coming back in the same spot and to kill the cells. Giving radiation before surgery is more beneficial than the other two ways but doing it this way can make it a little difficult for the surgical wounds to heal up.
The prognosis rate is based on the type of liposarcoma that you have been diagnosed with. In addition, where the tumor was located also has big effect on the de-differentiated and well-differentiated subtype. If the tumor is found in the abdomen it is harder to do compete eradications because the abdomen is a difficult place for surgeons to get it all out. It also depends on the depth of the tumor, how close it is to your lymph nodes, and the size.
Your survival rate is better if the tumor is low-grade and has not metastasized to any other organs than if you have liposarcoma that has metastasized to other organs. Treatment is more difficult in this type and the survival rate for five years is forty percent.
Five-year survival rate
- Well-differentiated – one hundred percent (100%)
- Myxoid – eighty-eight percent (88%)
- Pleomorphic – fifty-six percent (56%)
Ten year survival rate
- Well-differentiated – eighty-seven percent (87%)
- Myxoid – seventy-six percent (76%)
- Pleomorphic – thirty-nine percent (39%)
Pictures of Liposarcoma…