Chris Schach

Author Bio -

Key Points
*Rare vascular/lymph tumor affecting the soft tissue
*Occurs most often on the scalp
*Most often affects the elderly
*Exact cause unknown

Angiosarcoma is rare malignant tumor which forms in blood or lymph vessels and affects the surrounding skin tissue. It initially manifests as a bruise, progressing to a blue/black nodule, then finally an unhealed ulceration if left untreated. Lesions are very painful and may bleed.

Angiosarcoma is most common in elderly patients, often forming on the scalp of the affected person, and less commonly on the face. While the exact cause is unknown, certain exposures or chronic illness, such as those with chronic Lymphoedema, exposure to radiotherapies, or exposure to certain chemicals commonly used in the plastics industry. Angiosarcoma affects a very small percentage of the population.

Differential Diagnosis (Other conditions with similar appearance)

Cutaneous epithelioid Angiomatous nodule

Key Points
*Initial diagnosis based on skin appearance
*Skin biopsy will be performed to rule out other conditions

Angiosarcoma is initially diagnosed based on appearance. A Skin biopsy will be performed to rule out other malignant conditions

*Difficult to treat
*Treatment most often used is radical surgery, accompanied by radiotherapy after surgery
*Recurrence is common

Treatment of Angiosarcoma is difficult and often relies on the size and placement of the tumor. Treatments can include chemo- or radiotherapy, surgery, or a combination thereof.

While the most commonly used treatment is radical surgery, followed by a course of radiotherapy. However, tumors often reappear after treatment, and despite the aggressive nature of said treatment, prognosis is often poor.

More in this category: « Alopecia Areata Angel's kiss »