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Angiosarcoma of the Breast

What is angiosarcoma of the breast?

Angiosarcoma is a rare form of cancer that occurs in the breast and in the tissue of the upper arms. It can grow and spread quickly.

Angiosarcoma is rare enough that if a woman is suspected of having this form of cancer, confirmation is necessary from another healthcare institution with pathologists experienced at accurate identification. Slides are sent from all over the United States to the Johns Hopkins Breast Center where our expert pathologists can accurately confirm a diagnosis of angiosarcoma.

 There are two types of angiosarcomas:

  1. Primary angiosarcoma. Women who have never been diagnosed with breast cancer before will receive this diagnosis.
  2. Secondary angiosarcoma. This cancer may occur in women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer previously. It can occasionally be caused by radiation treatments focused on the underarm and breast areas.

What are the symptoms of breast angiosarcoma?

Symptoms of breast angiosarcoma include:

  • Thickening of the breast wall
  • Rash-like symptoms
  • Discoloration of the breast skin tissue

What is the process for diagnosis of breast angiosarcoma?

Same Day Results

Our breast cancer specialists are incredibly sensitive to the anxiety a possible diagnosis of breast cancer creates for our patients. Therefore, we follow strict guidelines for blood work, biopsies and pathology reports. On the day of your breast biopsy, you will be given the probability that the biopsy is positive breast cancer. Firm confirmation will follow within 24 hours.

Learn more about the steps of diagnosis, including:

What is the treatment for breast angiosarcoma?

A strong treatment strategy is necessary for this fast, aggressive cancer. At our Breast Center, our physicians will work quickly to assess and stage the cancer during your staging workup. Treatment will include:

  1. Surgery. Depending on the size and location of the tumor, surgery may be performed as a lumpectomy or a mastectomy. Our surgical oncologists are breast experts who specialize in breast conservation surgery and are known nationally for their skill and cutting-edge techniques in the treatment and reconstruction of the breast.
  2. Chemotherapy. Some angiosarcomas may be successfully treated with chemotherapy; some do not respond to this treatment regimen.