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WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
- Liposarcoma is a type of cancer. Cancer is a condition when cells grow and divide without control or order, often making a tumor (lump). A liposarcoma is a tumor made mostly of fat cells. Liposarcoma is commonly found in your legs and thighs. Tumors may also be found in your retroperitoneum (space behind your abdominal organs), arms, chest, and neck. Liposarcoma can be a low grade or high grade tumor. It can be well differentiated, myxoid, pleomorphic, dedifferentiated, or mixed. Ask your caregiver for information about the different types of liposarcomas.
- You may see or feel a painless mass under your skin that grows slowly, usually over years. You may have pain if the mass grows and presses on your nerves or blood vessels. Tumors that grow in your limbs (arms or legs) may make it hard for you to move them. The goal of treatment is to remove your tumor and any other cancer cells in your body. Treatment may include chemotherapy or radiation to kill the tumor cells. You may also need surgery to remove your tumor. Liposarcomas that are found and treated before they spread have a better chance of being cured. Treatment may relieve any pain and problems moving your limbs (arms and legs) caused by your tumor.
Take your medicine as directed:
Call your primary healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
- Chemotherapy: This medicine, often called chemo, works by killing cancer cells. It is normally given through an IV into your vein. Chemo may be needed for a while after your surgery. Many different chemo medicines are used to treat cancer. Chemo can also have many side effects. Caregivers will watch you closely and work with you to decrease any side effects.
- Antinausea medicine: This medicine may be given to calm your stomach and prevent vomiting.
- Pain medicine: You may need medicine to take away or decrease pain.
- Learn how to take your medicine. Ask what medicine and how much you should take. Be sure you know how, when, and how often to take it.
- Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take your medicine. Tell caregivers if your pain does not decrease.
- Pain medicine can make you dizzy or sleepy. Prevent falls by calling someone when you get out of bed or if you need help.
Ask your caregiver when to return for a follow-up visit:
- Keep all appointments. Write down any questions you may have. This way you will remember to ask these questions during your next visit. Your caregiver may use the following schedule after you are first diagnosed with liposarcoma:
- Years 1, 2, and 3: You may need to see your caregiver every 3 to 6 months.
- Years 4 and 5: You may need to see your caregiver every 6 months.
- Year 6 and onward: You may need to see your caregiver once every year.
- During your visits, tell your caregiver about any new symptoms you are having. Tell your caregiver about any side effects you are having from your treatment. You may need an x-ray or computerized tomography (CT) scan to check if the cancer has spread. You may need an x-ray, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or ultrasound if you have new signs or symptoms. These tests may show if your tumor has returned, or if you have a new tumor. An MRI or positron emission tomography (PET) scan may also be done to see if your treatment is working. You may need follow-up visits for chemo or radiation treatment. Ask your caregiver if and when you will need these tests and treatments.
Eating well with cancer and cancer treatment:
Good nutrition can:
- help you feel better during treatment and decrease treatment side effects
- decrease your risk of infection
- help you have more energy and feel stronger
- help you maintain a healthy weight and heal faster
Men 19 years old and older should drink about three Liters of liquid each day (about 13 eight-ounce cups). Women 19 years old and older should drink about two Liters of liquid each day (about 9 eight-ounce cups). It is especially important to drink enough liquids if you are vomiting (throwing up) from chemotherapy. Follow your caregiver's advice if you must change the amount of liquids you drink. For most people, healthy liquids to drink are water, juices, and milk. If you are used to drinking liquids that contain caffeine, such as coffee, these can also be counted in your daily liquid amount. Try to drink enough liquid each day, and not just when you feel thirsty. It may be helpful to drink liquids between your meals instead of with your meals.
CONTACT A CAREGIVER IF:
- You cannot make it to your follow-up visit.
- You see any changes in your skin.
- You see or feel a new lump in your body.
- You feel very worried or sad about your illness.
- You are vomiting (throwing up).
- You have constipation (dry, hard stools) or diarrhea (loose watery stools).
- You think or know you are pregnant.
SEEK CARE IMMEDIATELY IF:
- You have a cut or wound that does not heal.
- You have bleeding that does not stop.
- You have chest pain and trouble breathing.
- You see blood in your stools.
- You vomit blood.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.