Chris Schach

Author Bio -

Key Points
*Very common, non-cancerous tumor, typically appearing on the neck, torso, shoulders or arms, but may occur anywhere
*Cause is unknown, but may be related to genetic factors
*Consists of large lumps in the affected area which are soft, pliable, and may have a rubbery consistency

Lipoma is a very common, non-cancerous tumor which typically forms on the neck, torso, shoulders, or arms, though it may appear anywhere there is subcutaneous fat. The tumor consists of large lumps in the affected area which are soft, pliable and may have a rubbery consistency. Tumors tend to be asymptomatic, but in some cases they may be accompanied by tenderness and pain when applying pressure. Tumors may appear singly, or in multiples.

The cause of lipoma is unknown. It is thought that it may be related to genetic factors, as the condition has shown predisposition to run in families. Additionally, blunt injury may trigger tumor formation in those who are predisposed to develop the condition. While lipomas may appear at any age, they most commonly form during middle age. Both gender groups are equally affected, however, men are more prone to develop multiple tumors, while women are more likely to develop them singly.

Differential Diagnosis (Other conditions with similar appearance)
Blue Rubber Bleb Nevus Syndrome
Glomus tumor

    Key Points
    *Diagnosis initially based on appearance of the affected area
    *Biopsies or other tests will be performed to confirm diagnosis and rule out other conditions

    Diagnosis of lipoma is initially based on the appearance of the affected area. Biopsies and other tests will be performed to confirm the diagnosis and to rule out other, similar appearing conditions.

    *Treatment is generally not required
    *Treatment via removal may be recommended if complications result from tumor location

    In the majority of lipoma cases, treatment is not required as the tumor will cease growing on its own and does not cause symptoms or complications. However, in some cases tumors may inhibit muscle function. These cases are generally treated with surgical methods, including surgical excision, liposuction, and squeeze techniques.

    Related Images

    View the embedded image gallery online at: