Angiosarcoma is a form of soft tissue sarcoma. It is a rare cancer in which the cells that make up the lining of the blood vessels grow and multiply abnormally to form a tumor. Angiosarcoma is more common in people over 50.
Angiosarcoma usually begins in the head and neck region or in the torso. But angiosarcoma can form in the blood vessels of any part of the body.
Angiosarcoma is usually red in color and involves the skin. Sometimes it is mistaken for a blood blister. On rare occasions it can appear in the skin of the chest wall where a woman has received radiation for breast cancer.
Doctors use imaging to detect angiosarcoma. These tests are typically MRIs or CTs. The scans can show the size of the tumor, where it started, whether any nearby organs or tissues are involved, and whether the tumor has spread to other parts of the body.
Biopsy is usually the next step. A biopsy is the only test that can make a definite diagnosis of angiosarcoma. It involves taking a sample of the tumor. That sample is checked under a microscope for cancer cells by a pathologist (a doctor who is specially trained to diagnose disease).
It is very important to receive a diagnosis from a team of doctors that is highly experienced in the diagnosis and treatment of soft tissue sarcoma. Getting the correct evaluation and diagnosis is the first step to being cured.
The main treatment for angiosarcoma is surgery to remove the sarcoma. Angiosarcoma can begin in many different areas of the body. The surgery that’s right for you depends on the exact size and location of the tumor.
Your doctor may also recommend radiation, chemotherapy, or other drug therapies. These treatments can help prevent the tumor from coming back. Which combination of treatments is right for you depends on the unique characteristics of the tumor.