Cutaneous Angiosarcoma

Cutaneous Angiosarcoma – Cancer of the inner lining of blood vessels in the skin, usually found on the scalp and face.

Overview

Angiosarcoma that appears underneath the surface of the skin is called subcutaneous angiosarcoma, which is a rare and aggressive vascular tumor. Cutaneous angiosarcoma is a rare, highly malignant vascular tumor. It often presents in white Cutaneous angiosarcoma of head and neck of the elderly is a great mimicker with many clinical presentations. Angiosarcoma is a cancer of the inner lining of blood vessels, and it can occur in any area of the body, however the majority of angiosarcoma cases are of the skin, and found on the scalp and face. Subcutaneous angiosarcoma is a type of angiosarcoma that appears under the surface of the skin.

Risk Factors

  • Angiosarcomas occur in adult men and women of all races, and are rare in children.
  • Lymphedema, the swelling of an area of the body due to the collection of fluid, is the most widely known cause for angiosarcomas.
  • Angiosarcoma can also occur due to radiation exposure or treatment.
  • Angiosarcoma has been associated with carcinogens such as vinyl chloride, arsenic and thorium dioxide.

Symptoms

Angiosarcoma can present in many different ways:
  • It can look like a skin infection, a bruise or a lesion that does not heal. It may have a violet color, and one should be particularly concerned if such an area arises in a site of prior radiation therapy.
  • It might also present as a soft lump that can be felt or seen.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis usually begins with a physical exam and may include imaging studies such as an X-ray, CT scan, MRI or PET scan. These studies help to determine the location and size of the tumor and can also find disease that may have spread throughout the body. A definite diagnosis is made with a biopsy procedure, where a small piece of the tumor is removed from the body and looked at under a microscope by a pathologist.

Treatments

Surgery is the primary method of treatment for angiosarcoma. Chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy is often an important part of the treatment plan,pre or post surgery.