Angiosarcoma cancer is a fast moving and fast growing cancer that usually begins in the cells that line the walls of blood vessels or of lymphatic vessels.
It causes a huge threat because of its relation to the circulatory system. It can occur anywhere in the body, but is most common in the head, neck, breast, bone, liver, and spleen.
There is a high recurrence rate and the prognosis is generally not good since angiosarcoma cancer is often misdiagnosed and therefore mistreated.
Learn more about angiosarcoma symptoms to try and diagnose it early.
How does it work?
A treatment plan for angiosarcoma cancer depends on the stage of the tumor, the location, and whether or not the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. Treatment almost always involves a combination of chemotherapy, surgery and radiation treatments, although the best order to apply these treatments is not known.
Because the tumors spread quickly and because they spread in blood vessels it is difficult for surgeons to identify the border of the tumor. This makes it extremely difficult to remove the entire tumor without unnecessarily removing healthy surrounding tissue.
The main focus of treatment for angiosarcoma cancer is to be as aggressive as possible as soon as possible. The longer the wait, the more the tumor has the opportunity to spread and the more difficult it becomes to remove. Waiting could also give the tumor time to spread to other parts of the body.
Types of treatment for angiosarcoma cancer almost exclusively include chemotherapy, surgery and radiation therapy.
As with any medications or treatments the side effects depend largely on the patient. In general, the better health the patient is in to begin with, the better their body will respond to treatment. Patients receiving chemotherapy can expect side effects such as fatigue, nausea, hair loss, and depression of their immune system.
Surgery obviously includes going under anesthesia and recovery time. Radiation treatments can sometimes cause irritation to the skin at the location where the treatment is being administered. Treatments today are extremely focused so this occurs less and less.
However, since angiosarcoma cancers have a high recurrence rate and it can be dangerous to apply radiation treatment to the same area, physicians hold off on this if they can.
There are a few drugs currently being studied that have shown promise in treating angiosarcoma cancer. These drugs are angiogenesis inhibitors such as paclitaxel and sorafenib. They work by inhibiting the growth of new blood vessels thus prohibiting the tumor’s growth.