Rare case of a liposarcoma in the brachial plexus

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Abstract

INTRODUCTION

A liposarcoma is a rare cancer of connective tissues that resemble fat cells under light microscopy.

CASE HISTORY

A 73-year old female patient presented to our tertiary cancer centre with an eight-year history of a large, slow-growing painless mass in the right axilla. Magnetic resonance imaging showed a lipomatous, well-circumscribed mass of dimension 30 × 16 × 10cm extending towards the right clavicle and causing deformation to the right chest wall and right breast. Surgery revealed a large tumour that had stretched all three cords of the brachial plexus. Histopathology was consistent with a diagnosis of a low-grade liposarcoma. After a period of neuropraxia, the patient returned to normal activities 4 months after surgery.

CONCLUSIONS

Although extremely rare, low-grade liposarcomas of the brachial plexus should be considered in the differential diagnosis of a slow-growing axillary mass. Referral to a tertiary sarcoma centre is essential for an appropriate diagnosis, adequate treatment, and long-term follow-up.

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