What is Liposarcoma?

Liposarcoma is a cancer that originates in deep layers of fat tissue instead of superficial cells underneath the epidermis. Liposarcoma can be found in many locations, but it is especially prevalent in the limbs and the abdomen.

There is no known cause of soft tissue sarcomas, but there are factors that can increase the risk of development. For example, those with chronic lymphedema are at an increased risk for this cancer.

Some inhereted conditions, like Li-Fraumeni syndrome, can increase the risk of cancer development. If a person has had radiation treatment for other cancers, that could cause a liposarcoma to develop.

What are the Symptoms of Liposarcoma?

A person may be asymptomatic until later into the disease. One of the first symptoms is a soft or fleshy mass that can be felt in the skin; image testing and a biopsy can confirm the cancer.

Some other symptoms include difficulty breathing, swelling at the site, fatigue, abdominal pain, nausea, numbness, a decreased range of motion in legs or arms, and pain if a nerve, vessel, or muscle is compressed.

How is Liposarcoma Treated?

The goal of treatment is to completely remove the liposarcoma—or as much as is safely possible—with surgery so that its recurrence is mitigated. If the liposarcoma has metastasized, then chemotherapy or radiation therapy can be used. In rare cases, a person’s limb may need to be amputated.

Last Reviewed:
October 06, 2016
Last Updated:
September 01, 2017