Soft tissue sarcoma

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Soft tissue sarcomas can develop in the fatty, or adipose, tissue of the body. The main type of soft tissue sarcoma in the fatty tissue is liposarcoma.

Liposarcoma is one of the most common types of soft tissue sarcoma, accounting for at least 20% of all soft tissue sarcomas in adults. It usually develops in adults 50–65 years of age.

Liposarcoma usually develops in the fatty tissue behind the knee or in the thigh, groin, buttocks or retroperitoneum (back of the abdominal cavity). It can be slow or fast growing. The tumour may be large, but the size doesn’t necessarily mean that it is growing quickly. Liposarcoma is different from lipoma, which is a benign tumour that starts in fat cells. Lipomas do not develop into cancerous liposarcoma.

The main types of liposarcoma are:

  • atypical lipomatous tumour/well-differentiated liposarcoma (ALT/WD)
  • dedifferentiated liposarcoma
  • myxoid round cell
  • pleomorphic liposarcoma


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