Monday, February 22, 2010

Right axillary lipoma to be removed

As a follow-up to my previous post, I wanted to let you-all know that I do indeed plan to have the large lipoma (located under my right armpit) removed sometime this summer. I had another conversation with Dr. Monson (my orthopedic oncologist) about this and he was able to clarify why this particular lipoma is “special”. (Please note that I have several other smaller, more typical-sized lipomas in other easily-accessible locations, but the doctor has no interest or intention of removing those.) I also got a second opinion from another oncologist, who said essentially the same thing as Dr. Monson.

The reasons to remove this particular lipoma include:
  1. It’s difficult to monitor – given its awkward location, it’s difficult to monitor this lipoma for changes. Physical examination of the area is not a reliable means of detecting change and CT-Scans are primarily focused on abnormalities of the chest, abdomen, and pelvis and, therefore, not always fully inclusive of this area.
  2. It could become cancerous – though this lipoma is not believed to be cancerous, there’s a chance that it could become cancerous (in particular for someone already diagnosed with Liposarcoma). Having said that, however, I should also point out that I was told (by the doctor) that this would be “unlikely”. Even so, this motivates me all the more to have it removed.
  3. Don't wait for it to become a problem – given that there are critical nerves, blood vessels, and lymph nodes in that area, it’s probably best to have this removed before it has a chance to grow and become all that more of a surgical challenge.
I should mention as well that both doctors said “no rush” on the surgery, which is why I’m waiting until the summer to have this done. All-in-all, I’m not too worried about it, though I’m well-aware that this surgery comes with its own set of risks (especially given all of the nerves in that area). Even so, I think that a good surgeon shouldn’t have any problems with it.

Bottom line – having it removed is the right thing to do.


Rajiv said...


Thanks for your blog. I have liposarcoma in the mediastinum, currently dealing with my third occurrence.

I am on a new clinical trial at Memorial Sloan Kettering. Your chemo guide was really helpful.


Dave Novak said...

Thank you for your kind words about my “Survival Guide” post. I’m very sorry to hear what you’re dealing with, though I am confident that you’re in good hands with Memorial Sloan-Kettering. Stay strong, positive, and always enjoy life to the fullest!


Trent Jessee said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
smita sharma said...

I've had appx 16 lipomas removed, all of them fairly small (between 2cm and 5cm). My first two experiences with lipoma removal were BAD,It was done with local anaesthetic, however it required rather large incisions, lots of stitches, and left me with two very nasty big scars.

swati oak said...

A lipoma is a common, benign tumor composed of fatty tissue. Lipomas are soft to the touch, sometimes moveable, and are generally painless. They grow very slowly, and have not been found to become cancerous (malignant liposarcoma, however, also arises from fatty tissue). Many lipomas are small but can enlarge to sizes greater than six centimeters.
smita oak