What is angiosarcoma?
Angiosarcoma is a cancer of the internal lining of blood vessels, and it can occur in any area of the body. The disease most normally occurs in the skin, breast, liver, spleen, and deep tissue. Angiosarcoma of the skin, or cutaneous angiosarcoma, makes up the popular of angiosarcoma cases, and it is usually found on the scalp and face. Angiosarcoma that appears underneath the superficial of the skin is called subcutaneous angiosarcoma. Approximately 25% of angiosarcomas are found in deep tissue, and around 8% are creating in breast tissue.
It occurs in men and women of all races, and they are occasional in children. Patients with this disease are best treated at a cancer centre where an expert sarcoma team and resources are obtainable to provide specialized and responsive care.
Symptoms of angiosarcoma
The signs and symptoms may contrast founded on where cancer occurs.
Angiosarcoma that affects the skin
Most often, it happens in the skin on the head and neck, chiefly the scalp. Signs and symptoms of this form of this disease contain:
- A raised, purplish area of skin that looks like a bruise
- A bruise-like lesion that grows larger over time
- A lesion that may bleed when scratched or bumped
- Swelling in the surrounding skin
Angiosarcoma that affects organs
When this disease affects tissues, such as the liver or the heart, it often causes pain. Other symptoms rest on the location of this disease.
Causes of angiosarcoma
It’s not clear what causes most angiosarcomas, though doctors have recognized factors that may increase your risk of the disease.
Doctors know that somewhat happens that causes a cell in the lining of a blood vessel or lymph vessel to develop an error (mutation) in its genetic code. The change tells the cell to grow quickly, making more abnormal cells. The abnormal cells last living when other cells would die.
The result is a buildup of abnormal cells that grows from the artificial blood vessel or lymph vessel. With time, cells may break off and spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body.
Factors that may raise your risk of angiosarcoma include:
- Radiation therapy: Treatment with radiation for cancer or other situations may increase your risk of this cancer. A rare problem of radiation therapy, it typically occurs five to 10 years after treatment.
- Swelling caused by lymph vessel damage (lymphedema): Lymphedema is swelling caused by a stoppage of lymph fluid that occurs when the lymphatic system is blocked or damaged. Lymphedema is a risk whenever lymph nodes are detached during surgery — a technique that’s often used to treat cancer. Lymphedema can also happen in response to infection or other conditions.
- Liver angiosarcoma has been connected to exposure to several chemicals, with vinyl chloride and arsenic.
Diagnosis of angiosarcoma
Tests and procedures used in angiosarcoma diagnosis include:
- Physical exam: Your physician will thoroughly examine you to understand your condition.
- Removing a sample of tissue for testing (biopsy): Your doctor will remove a sample of suspicious tissue for research laboratory testing. Analysis in the lab can detect cancer cells and control certain characteristics of your cancer cells that may help guide your treatment.
- Imaging tests: Imaging tests can give your physician an idea of the extent of your cancer. Tests may include MRI, CT, and positron emission tomography (PET). Which tests you undergo will depend on your particular situation.
Treatment of angiosarcoma
Which angiosarcoma treatment is best for you to rest on your cancer’s location, its size, and whether it has spread to other areas of your body.
Treatment options may include:
- The goal of surgery is to eliminate this cancer. Your surgeon will eliminate cancer and some of the healthy tissue that surrounds it. In some cases, surgery may not be an option, for example, if the cancer is very large or has spread to other areas of the body.
- Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy uses high-energy rays, such as X-rays and protons, to kill cancer cells. Radiation therapy is occasionally used after surgery to kill any cancer cells that remain. Radiation therapy may also be a choice if you can’t undergo surgery.
- Chemotherapy is a treatment that uses drugs or chemicals to destroy cancer cells. Chemotherapy may be a selection if your cancer has spread to other areas of your body. In certain circumstances, it may be combined with radiation therapy if you can’t undergo surgery.
Communal complications of this disease include Pathologic fractures, anemia, and hepatic dysfunction. Prognosis is normally poor; the 5-year survival rate of patients with this disease is approximately 12-33%. Poor prognostic factors include patient age (> 65 years), retroperitoneal location, and large tumour size.