A uncommon kind of cancer called angiosarcoma develops in the lining of lymph and blood arteries. The immune system includes the lymphatic vessels. The lymph vessels remove waste materials, viruses, and germs from the body.
Anywhere in the body can develop cancer of this kind. But the skin of the head and neck is where it usually manifests itself. Rarely, it can develop in the skin of other bodily parts, such the breast. Alternately, it might develop in deeper tissues like the liver and heart. Angiosarcoma can develop in locations that have already received radiation therapy.
Symptoms of Angiosarcoma
A skin-related angiosarcoma
Angiosarcoma typically develops in the skin of the head and neck. On the scalp, it often occurs. The following are signs of this type of angiosarcoma:
- a bump on the skin that resembles a bruise
- a lesion that resembles a bruise and enlarges over time
- a wound that could bleed if scratched or jarred
- Skin around the lesion is swollen.
Angiosarcoma frequently results in pain when it affects organs like the liver or heart. The angiosarcoma’s location will affect any additional symptoms.
Causes of angiosarcoma
Most angiosarcomas have unknown origins. Researchers have found a number of variables that could raise the disease’s risk.
Angiosarcoma develops when the DNA of cells lining a blood artery or lymph channel changes. The instructions that inform a cell what to do are encoded in its DNA. The adjustments, which scientists refer to as mutations, instruct the cells to divide quickly. When healthy cells would perish, the alterations prevent the cells from dying.
As a result, cancer cells can accumulate and spread outside of the blood vessel or lymph channel. Cancerous cells are able to infiltrate and obliterate healthy body tissue. Cancer cells could eventually separate and travel to different parts of the body.
The following factors can raise your risk of developing angiosarcoma:
- Radiation treatment. Angiosarcoma risk may rise after radiation therapy for cancer or other disorders. An uncommon side effect of radiation therapy is angiosarcoma.
- Swelling brought on by damaged lymph vessels. Lymphedema is swelling brought on by a buildup of lymph fluid. When the lymphatic system becomes obstructed or injured, it occurs. When lymph nodes are removed during surgery, lymphedema can result. This is frequently carried during during cancer surgery. When there is an infection or other disorders, lymphedema can also occur.
- Chemicals. Exposure to a number of substances has been related to liver angiosarcoma. These substances include arsenic and vinyl chloride, for instance.
- Inherited syndromes. Angiosarcoma risk can increase in those who are born with specific gene mutations. Examples include the mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes that lead to neurofibromatosis, Maffucci syndrome, or Klippel-Trenaunay syndrome.
Genetic disorders linked to Angiosarcoma
Genetic abnormalities that alter genes that are intended to guard you against malignancies have been linked, according to researchers. Conditions specifically include:
- Two-sided retinoblastoma. The retina in the back of your eyes is where this rare cancer develops.
- Ollier illness. This uncommon condition affects how your bones grow.
- Syndrome Maffucci. Your bones’ cartilage is affected by this uncommon condition.
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