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Cancer

What cause Lipoma?

05/29/2008

Question:

I have had an operation to remove a fist-sized tumor recently and it came to be quite a relief. Surely it must have pinched a nerve. I feel much better since the operation. Nobody however can give me an answer to what causes these liptoma tumors?

Answer:

I assume you mean lipoma, which is considered a benign fatty tumor. Lipomas are growths of mature fat cells (adipocytes); cancerous tumors would be irregular, uncontrolled growth of younger cells. Sometime people need to have lipomas removed, like you, if they are causing pain or discomfort.

All of us have different types of benign growths in our lifetime, most being in or under the skin. There isn't a lot of information on how or why tumors like lipomas grow. Scientists don't spend a lot of time studying conditions that are benign and never lead to cancer or any other medical problem.

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Go to the Cancer health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Joanna M Brell, MD Joanna M Brell, MD
Formerly, Assistant Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University