Angiosarcoma is a rare type of skin cancer that forms in the lining of the blood vessels and lymphatic vessels in the skin. Lymphatic vessels are a part of the immune system. They trap viruses, bacteria, and other waste products so they can be cleared by the immune cells. Angiosarcoma can occur anywhere in the skin but is most commonly found on the head and neck. Angiosarcoma can occur in other organs unrelated to skin. The liver is the most common site, it can also occur in the breast, spleen, bone, or heart. The mortality rate is high. Angiosarcoma can look like a bruised or purplish growth on the skin. It can cause swelling of surrounding skin. The cause of angiosarcoma is not known. Risk factors for development can include a history of radiation treatment, chronic swelling from lymphedema, weakened immune system, or exposure to specific chemicals or toxins. Lymphedema occurs when lymph nodes are surgically removed as in the treatment of cancer. Angiosarcoma of the liver for example, is associated with exposure to chemicals such as arsenic and vinyl chloride.
Regular skin examination to evaluate new or changing lesions.
Treatment options include surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy.