one angiosarcoma is a type of rare cancer that occurs in the lining of a blood vessel. such a tumor can potentially occur in any vein or artery in the body, but most angiosarcomas are found near the surface of the skin or within lymph nodes. it is often difficult for doctors to identify a specific cause of an angiosarcomas, but tumors have been closely linked to environmental toxins and radiation therapy for other cancers. Treatment usually consists of a combination of chemotherapy, radiation and surgery when possible.
symptoms of an angiosarcoma can vary significantly depending on the location of the tumor and the stage of progression. a cutaneous sarcoma on the scalp, face or elsewhere on the skin creates a dark, tender, bruise-like lesion. angiosarcomas in the lymph nodes or breast tends to cause swelling and may or may not be painful. When the liver is affected, a person is likely to experience abdominal pain, fatigue and weight loss. finally, an angiosarcoma that develops within a blood vessel in the lungs can cause coughing and severe chest pain.
a doctor who suspects a angiosarcoma based on symptoms can undertake a variety of diagnostic imaging tests to look for physical tumors. a mass is detected, a small tissue sample is extracted and analyzed in a hospital lab. If a tumor is found to be malignant, additional tests to see if the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.
In most cases, doctors choose to combat angiosarcomas with treatments and chemotherapy. if a tumor is well defined under the skin or in the lymphoid tissue, surgery may be possible. a surgeon may attempt to cut the tumor and repair surrounding vascular tissue. angiosarcomas tend to be very toxic, however, and it is possible for a tumor to return even after an apparently successful course of treatment. when the cancer can not be eliminated, a patient needs to receive chemotherapy and taking medication to treat the symptoms for the rest of his or her life.