Liposarcoma Symptoms and Treatment

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Mayor Rob Ford, the controversial former mayor of Toronto, is in the news again. A diagnosis of liposarcoma and its treatment made mayor Ford decide to take his name out of the running for the election for Toronto's mayor in 2014. The disease caused his death on Tues., Mar. 22, 2016. His disease and death has stimulated further interest in liposarcoma, especially pleomorphic liposarcoma, a relatively rare cancer that is difficult to treat because the tumors are usually found or diagnosed when the disease is advanced. Mr. Ford was 46 years old.

Liposarcoma causes

Liposarcoma cancer cells are similar to fat cells but are thought to develop from deeper fat tissues instead of superficial fat cells beneath the skin or mucous membranes. Although liposarcomas may develop almost anywhere in the body, most develop in the abdomen and limbs. Liposarcomas are rare; they represent less than 1% of all newly diagnosed cancers. Although it is not known what triggers the development of liposarcomas, they are usually noted after trauma when a "hard lump" develops and remains.

Liposarcoma vs. lipoma

Liposarcomas do not develop from common lipomas, which are benign tumors of fat cells.

Liposarcoma symptoms and signs

Many liposarcoma patients do not feel sick initially so the patients seek help only late in the disease process when other symptoms arise. Symptoms that may occur later in the disease include

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/23/2016

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