What Is Liposarcoma?
Liposarcoma is a type of cancer that starts in the fat cells of your body. It is a very rare cancer that affects tissues like nerves, muscles, tendons, or fat. Furthermore, the tumor may cause pain and swell at the site where it occurs.
Liposarcoma is usually of five types_Well-differentiated liposarcomas, Myxoid liposarcoma, Round cell liposarcoma, Dedifferentiated liposarcoma, and Pleomorphic liposarcoma.
Well-differentiated liposarcoma grows very slowly and is the most common type. Usually, it doesn’t spread to rest portions of the body. Myxoid liposarcoma grows faster than the prior one and is 2nx the most common type. Moreover, it tends to spread to other parts and causes problems.
Round cell liposarcoma affects the arms or legs usually and grows at a faster rate. While Dedifferentiated liposarcoma is when your slow-growing tumor begins to grow faster. Pleomorphic liposarcoma is not a very common form, but spreads very quickly. Liposarcoma can happen at any age, but it’s most common between ages 50 and 65.
It is not exactly clear what leads to liposarcoma. However, researchers do know that these tumors develop because of the changes in DNA called mutations. In this process, your fat cells develop irregular changes which lead to cancer.
However, certain things increase your chances of developing a liposarcoma. For instance, some rare genetic diseases can be a risk factor for this cancer. Similarly, a family history of liposarcoma can also make you more prone to cancer.
A liposarcoma can develop in any area of your body having fat cells. However, it usually affects the fatty areas of your belly and legs.
At first, you may not find your tumor to be painful or sore. However, as your tumor grows continuously, various problems start. For instance, your liposarcoma may push against various organs like the stomach if it starts in the belly.
Depending on the location of your tumor, a liposarcoma may cause:
Presence of a lump beneath your skin. It usually develops on your thighs or around your knees.
Swelling and pain.
The weakening of your arm or leg lumping.
As soon as you start eating, you feel full
Black or even bloody stool
Vomiting with blood
Your belly becomes larger.
How your doctor diagnoses the liposarcoma.
Before ordering you for imaging tests, your doctor will ask about general health. He/she will perform a thorough physical check-up. If they suspect the liposarcoma, they will order for other tests like:
Imaging tests. To see the size and scope of your tumor, your doctor will order for CT scan or MRI. These tests give additional detail about soft tissue tumors like a liposarcoma.
Biopsy. This test helps confirm the liposarcoma if your doctor suspects the tumor. In this procedure, he/she is going to take a small tissue sample from your tumor. Then, he/she will see this tissue under a microscope. This way they can detect your tumor.
Depending on the location of a tumor, its size, and type, treatment options may vary from person to person. Surgery is useful in which your doctor will try to remove the tumor. This is the most common form of treatment for this cancer.
However, if the tumor is growing continuously, your doctor may go for other treatment options. This is also necessary when your doctor cannot remove the tumor Surgically. In that case, radiation therapy or chemotherapy becomes essential to kill all the remaining tumor cells.
In certain cases, your doctor may use chemotherapy or radiation therapy to shrink the tumor size before surgery. Thus, you should ask your healthcare provider about clinical trials with patients suffering from liposarcoma.
These studies help to find whether these therapies work and whether they are safe. This way your doctor may inform you whether these therapies are good for you or not.
Coping and support
When you get diagnosed with liposarcoma, it could be frightening for you. The condition will be no different for your family.
However, you may learn to cope with the uncertainty and distress related to cancer with time. Thus, you need to follow these instructions until then;
Call on for medical support:
Various things are going to help you. For instance, the knowledge and understanding of a medical social worker, or any other mental health professional is necessary. They will help you in understanding your cancer.
Furthermore, if your child or other family member suffers from cancer, you need to ask health care professionals for advice. They will provide you with options for medical health support. This will also provide you with emotional and social support.
In addition to this, you can check various online services that will provide you support to combat cancer.
- Gain more knowledge about liposarcoma to make decisionsabout control and care:
Ask your doctor about various treatment options related to liposarcoma. Little knowledge is dangerous. Therefore, more confidence in understanding and making decisions about treatment options will be there with you. So you should always learn more about the disease.
Ask the health care team for guidance if your child has cancer. Therefore, get more and more information for appropriately caring for the patient.
Be close to your friends and family:
A close and strong relationship with your family and friends is necessary. It will help you deal with liposarcoma.
You need practical support, moral support from your friends and relatives. Thus, someone should be there for you to look after the family. Emotional support from them is going to matter most. Thus, a healthy and happy person will ultimately efficiently fight the disease.
Prepare for your appointment
You are likely to start making an appointment with your primary care doctor if some signs and symptoms worry you. Ask for a referral to an experienced specialist if your doctor suspects liposarcoma.
A team of specialists typically can treat. For instance;
Tumor surgeons who have specialization in operating soft tissue cancers.
Doctors who have a specialization in treating cancers with systemic medications or chemotherapy.
Pathologists diagnose the specific type of cancer by analyzing a tissue.
Rehabilitation specialists who after surgery help in the recovery of a tumor.
What you should expect from your doctor:
You will face several questions from your doctor. Thus, you should be ready to answer these. So, give more time to your doctor to address them. Your doctor may ask;
What signs and symptoms concern you more?
Have your symptoms been occasional or continuous?
When did you start to notice the symptoms?
The severity of your symptoms?
Is there anything that improves your symptoms?
Is there anything that worsens your symptoms?
Do you have any family or personal history of cancer?