Angiosarcoma | Symptoms & Causes

What are the symptoms of angiosarcoma?

Angiosarcoma can appear anywhere in the body. Common sites in adults are in the head and neck region. In children, angiosarcoma can arise on the skin, deep tissues, or internal organs. The tumor can spread to the lung, liver and bone.

The tumor behaves differently in each person. Usually it is very aggressive, but some tumors are low-grade (do not appear as aggressive under the microscope). All angiosarcomas need aggressive evaluation and treatment.

What causes angiosarcoma?

The cause of angiosarcoma is currently unknown, although genetic mutations recently have been identified in adult patients; scientists are now searching for therapies that target these mutations. In adults, angiosarcoma can arise after exposure to chemicals or radiation, or in long-standing ulcerations and lymphedema. Though very rare, angiosarcomas in children have been reported to arise in vascular anomalies and hemangiomas of the liver.