However, in rare cases, a lump that appears to be a lipoma may turn out to be a different type of tumor, such as a liposarcoma, which is a cancerous tumor of the fat cells. Liposarcomas are malignant and can invade surrounding tissues. It’s important to note that liposarcomas are rare, and the vast majority of lipomas are benign.
If you notice a new lump or growth, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional for a proper evaluation. They may recommend imaging studies, such as ultrasound or MRI, or perform a biopsy to determine the nature of the lump and whether it is benign or cancerous.
Dr Khaled Sadek recommends removing lipomas when you first notice them. This way you can reduce the complications associated with removing larger lipomas.
What is a liposarcoma?
A liposarcoma is a type of cancer that originates in the fat cells. It is a malignant tumor that can occur anywhere in the body where fat tissue is present. Liposarcomas are relatively rare, accounting for a small percentage of all soft tissue sarcomas.
There are several subtypes of liposarcoma, each with its own characteristics. The main types include:
Well-differentiated liposarcoma (WDLPS): This subtype tends to grow slowly and may resemble normal fat tissue. While it has the potential to recur, it generally has a more favorable prognosis compared to other subtypes.
Dedifferentiated liposarcoma (DDLPS): This type is more aggressive than well-differentiated liposarcoma. It often develops from a pre-existing well-differentiated liposarcoma and is characterized by the presence of more undifferentiated cells.
Myxoid liposarcoma: This subtype is more common in the extremities and has a characteristic appearance under the microscope. It tends to occur in younger individuals and has a relatively better prognosis compared to some other subtypes.
Pleomorphic liposarcoma: This is the least common subtype and is characterized by a lack of the specific features seen in other subtypes. It tends to be more aggressive and has a less favorable prognosis.
The exact cause of liposarcomas is not well understood, but certain genetic and chromosomal abnormalities have been associated with these tumors. Treatment typically involves surgery to remove the tumor, and in some cases, additional treatments such as radiation therapy or chemotherapy may be recommended.
The prognosis for liposarcomas can vary depending on the subtype, location, size, and stage at the time of diagnosis. It’s important for individuals with a suspected liposarcoma to consult with a healthcare professional for a comprehensive evaluation and to discuss the most appropriate treatment plan for their specific situation.