What is liposarcoma?

Updated: Mar 18, 2020
  • Author: Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Answer

Liposarcoma is a malignancy of fat cells (see Pediatric Liposarcoma and Liposarcoma Imaging). In adults, it is the most common soft tissue sarcoma. Liposarcoma normally appears as a slowly enlarging, painless, nonulcerated submucosal mass in a middle-aged person, but some lesions grow rapidly and become ulcerated early. Virchow first described liposarcoma in the 1860s.

The development of a liposarcoma from a preexisting benign lipoma is rare. Most cases arise de novo. Liposarcomas most frequently arise from the deep-seated stroma rather than the submucosal or subcutaneous fat. Dermal lesions are rare and may resemble pleomorphic fibroma. [1]


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