Angiosarcoma of the Breast

What is angiosarcoma of the breast?

Angiosarcoma is rare cancer that starts in the cells that line blood vessels or lymph vessels. It's sometimes a complication of previous radiation treatment to the breast. It can also occur in the affected arms of women with lymphedema, but this is not common. (Lymphedema is swelling that can develop after surgery or radiation therapy to treat breast cancer.) It can cause skin changes and/or a lump in the breast. 

How is angiosarcoma treated?

Angiosarcomas tend to grow and spread quickly. Treatment usually includes surgery to remove the breast (mastectomy), and is generally the same as for other sarcomas. Typically the axillary lymph nodes are not removed. For more information on sarcomas, see soft tissue sarcomas.

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Esteva FJ and Gutiérrez C. Chapter 64: Nonepithelial Malignancies of the Breast. In: Harris JR, Lippman ME, Morrow M, Osborne CK, eds. Diseases of the Breast. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Lippincott-Williams & Wilkins; 2014.

Singer S, Nielsen TO, Antonescu CR. Chapter 89: Molecular Biology of Sarcomas. In: DeVita VT, Lawrence TS, Rosenberg SA, eds. DeVita, Hellman, and Rosenberg’s Cancer: Principles and Practice of Oncology. 10th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2015.

Last Medical Review: September 25, 2017 Last Revised: September 25, 2017

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