Sarcomas are a type of cancer which develop within the body’s connective tissues. These include fat, bone, and muscle. While these types of cancer only account for around 1% of all cases, there are over 50 different subtypes, including liposarcomas.
Here, we look at what liposarcomas are, and the different treatment options.
What are Liposarcomas?
Liposarcomas are rare tumours that develop from fat tissue which occurs within the soft tissues of the body. They are classified as cancer due to their ability to reoccur and spread within other areas of the body.
There are different subtypes of liposarcomas, and the severity of the disease will depend upon the type experienced. It tends to develop more within the body’s extremities such as the thigh. However, it can also occur in other areas such as at the back of the abdomen.
Liposarcomas are more present in middle-aged men aged 50-65. They are also extremely rare in children. The three main types of liposarcomas are:
- Atypical Lipomatous or well differentiated/dedifferentiated
- Myxoid round cell
Atypcial lipomatous liposarcomas locally aggressive and present as painless masses deeper in the tissues, but we believe they do not spread elsewhere unless they transform to a dedifferentiated liposarcoma. The myxoid round cell and pleomorphic types are mostly found in the legs and arms, and carry a risk of recurring in other sites.
Signs and symptoms to watch out for
In the early stages of a liposarcoma, you may not experience any symptoms. It is common that you do not experience any symptoms until the tumour has grown large enough to compress nearby tissues.
The exact symptoms will depend upon where the tumour is, alongside how large it is. You may also be able to feel the liposarcoma as a deep mass.
To diagnose the liposarcoma, an MRI and possibly a core biopsy will be performed.
Liposarcoma treatment options
The main treatment for liposarcomas is surgery. Several different types of surgery can be done, depending on the size and location of the tumour. You may also need to undergo radiotherapy alongside the surgery, either before or after. This would help to reduce the risk of recurrence. Mr Smith will go through your options in your consultation, and discuss which treatment would be better suited to you.
After treatment has been provided, routine follow ups will be attended. This will help to ensure that the liposarcoma doesn’t come back. If it does, treatment will be able to be provided quickly.
Liposarcomas are fairly rare, but they are known to reoccur. Early detection is the best way to ensure diagnosis and effective treatment, and there are several options including surgery.
For more advice, call us on 020 3770 5864 to arrange an appointment at the HCA Lister Hospital Clinics (Chelsea Outpatient Centre and Chiswick Medical Centre) or call 020 7808 2785 to book a consultation with Mr Myles Smith at the Royal Marsden Hospital.