Angiosarcoma of breast

Dr Dan J Bell and Radswiki et al.

Breast angiosarcomas are a rare vascular breast malignancy.

As primary tumours of the breast, they account for ~0.04% 2 of all breast cancers and tend to occur in younger women, in their 3rd to 4th decades. Secondary angiosarcoma has an estimated incidence of ~0.09-0.16% and occurs in older women (peak age 6th decade 2).

They tend to present as a painless rapidly growing mass that may be bluish or purple in colour.

The tumours are of endovascular origin. There are two main types:

The tumours are usually cutaneous or subcutaneous in location.

  • prior breast irradiation: radiation-induced breast angiosarcomas tend to occur after a significant latent period post-radiation (~5 years)
  • Stewart-Treves syndrome

Lesions can sometimes be occult on mammography 7.

A heterogeneous mass is usually seen on MRI. Reported signal characteristics include 7:

  • T1: usually low signal intensity
  • T2: usually high signal intensity
  • C+ (Gd): low-grade lesions show progressive enhancement whereas high-grade lesions show rapid enhancement and washout

They are extremely aggressive tumours and carry a poor prognosis. A mastectomy is required while axillary nodal dissection is not required due to their haematogenous spread.

Breast imaging and pathology
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Article information

rID: 13965
Systems: Breast, Oncology
Tag: cases
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Breast angiosarcoma
  • Angiosarcoma of the breast
  • Breast angiosarcomas
  • Angiosarcomas of the breast
  • Angiosarcomas of breast

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    Figure 1: histology
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    Case 1
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