What are the differences between a Sarcoma, Carcinoma and Lipoma?
For most people, these terms are scientific “jargon” but its important to know the difference. Especially if you have a lipoma and want to understand and appreciate the differences between a lipoma verses a sarcoma or carcinoma.
Let me explain.
A sarcoma is a cancer that arises from transformed cells of mesenchymal origin which are for example: bone, cartilage, fat, muscle, vascular, or hematopoietic tissues. Any malignant tumor arising from one of these tissues is referred to as a sarcoma. Human sarcomas are quite rare. The first sign of a sarcoma in an arm, leg, or torso may be a painless lump or swelling very much like a lipoma!
A carcinoma on the other hand, in much more common and originate from epithelial cells. Malignant tumors arising from tissues such as breast, colon and lung, are referred to as carcinomas.
Both are formed when the DNA in your cells (our genes) mutate and start to behave abnormally and start to exhibit malignant properties.
Most lumps that develop under the skin are not a sarcoma or a carcinoma. They are often a Lipoma which is the most common soft-tissue lump found in humans and pets. Lipomas are made up of fat cells (adipose tissue) and are encapsulated by a thin fibrous capsule to give them their district localized lump formation. It’s important to realize that a lipoma is usually not a health concern until it starts to grow and negatively affect adjacent areas. Lipomas can take years to grow and may cause pain as they start to press against surrounding nerves and muscle tissue. Lipomas do not necessarily have to grow and can remain the same size for years or even an entire life-time.
It’s important to consult with your doctor on any lumps that form under your skin, especially if they are growing and causing you discomfort.
I hope this has helped you understand the differences between a sarcoma, a carcinoma and a lipoma. As always, comment below!
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