Symptoms of Liposarcoma

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The most common symptom associated with liposarcoma is a painless, slow-growing lump that forms under the skin. This cancer commonly originates in the thighs, behind the knees, and in the abdomen. Sometimes, tumors can grow rapidly and put pressure on the organs and tissues around or near the tumor.

This article will explain the symptoms of liposarcoma and when to see your healthcare provider.

Doctor examining patient’s upper arm

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Frequent Symptoms

The most common symptom of liposarcoma is a painless lump. Many people experience such lumps, in some cases with a bruise, after an injury, so they can go unnoticed or ignored. But if a lump doesn’t go away on its own after a few weeks, it may be a cause for concern.

If the lump is due to liposarcoma, the tumor can grow large enough to begin to press on other muscles, nerves, and organs in the body. This can lead to other symptoms, depending on where the tumor is located.

Other symptoms may include:

  • Unexplained swelling
  • Weakness in the area where lump/tumor is located
  • Pain
  • Problems breathing
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Stomach pain or cramping

Rare Symptoms

As liposarcoma progresses, the tumor can grow large enough to put pressure on the nearby organs or spread to other parts of the body. This may cause additional symptoms, including:

  • New lumps that form in other parts of the body
  • Constipation
  • More severe stomach pain or cramping
  • Blood in vomit or stool
  • Black stool
  • Bloated stomach

In rare cases, liposarcoma can form in the head or neck, which may cause neurological symptoms, such as headaches, brain fog, and memory issues.

Complications

Liposarcoma is a serious condition. If it is not caught and treated in a timely manner, the cancer can spread to other areas of the body, including the organs, nerves, and muscles. Left untreated, it can also be life-threatening.

Even with treatment, complications can still happen. The cancer can return and spread. In addition, some people experience reactions or side effects from treatment, which may include chemotherapy and radiation.

Some of the common side effects include:

  • Nerve damage
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Hair loss
  • Nausea

When to See a Doctor

If you notice that you have a painless lump in your body that doesn’t go away on its own within a few weeks or is growing, don’t ignore it.

Overall, if the lump is larger than a golf ball and you have any of the symptoms of liposarcoma, it is time to make an appointment with your healthcare provider.

If you are diagnosed with liposarcoma, your healthcare team will work with you to develop a treatment plan that offers the best chance at curing the disease.

Summary

Liposarcoma is often symptomless aside from a painless lump that forms under the skin. As the tumor grows, it may put pressure on the tissue or organs near the tumor. It’s important to seek medical attention if you have a lump that doesn’t go away, as catching and treating this cancer early improves outcomes.

A Word From Verywell

If you have a painless lump that doesn’t go away or is getting bigger, it’s important to seek medical care right away. Your healthcare professional can work with you to determine the cause of the growth and get you started on a treatment plan if it does in fact turn out to be liposarcoma.

Liposarcoma is a rare cancer, but it does occur, and treating it early improves your chances of curing the disease and going on to live a long, healthy life.

2 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Cleveland Clinic. Liposarcoma.

  2. American Cancer Society. Signs and symptoms of soft tissue sarcomas.

By Yvelette Stines
Yvelette Stines, MS, MEd, is an author, writer, and communications specialist specializing in health and wellness.