Liposarcoma is a malignant tumor that arises in fat cells in deep soft tissue, such as that inside the thigh or in the retroperitoneum. They are typically large bulky tumors which tend to have multiple smaller satellites extending beyond the main confines of the tumor. Because of their rarity, liposarcomas are best treated by a sarcoma center.
Patients usually note a deep seated mass in their soft tissue. Only when the tumor is very large do symptoms of pain or functional disturbances occur.
Retroperitoneal tumors may present with signs of weight loss and emaciation and abdominal pain. These tumors may also compress the kidney or uterer leading to kidney failure.
Most frequent in middle-aged and older adults (age 40 and above), liposarcomas are the most common of all soft-tissue sarcomas. Annually 2.5 cases occur per million population.
The prognosis varies depending on the site of origin, the type of cancer cell, the tumor size, the depth, and proximity to lymph nodes. Metastases are common. The 5 year survival rate for a high-grade liposarcoma is less than 50%.