What is the definition of Angiosarcoma of the Scalp?
Angiosarcoma of the scalp is a very rare cancer which most commonly affects the elderly. Symptoms of this condition begin with a bruise-like lesions that progresses to an open or bleeding wound. These lesions will grow in size and, without treatment, the cancer will spread to other parts of the body (metastasis), usually the lungs. The cause of angiosarcoma of the scalp is unknown, although several associations have been reported, including abnormal swelling of the lymph nodes (lymphedema), prior radiation treatment, and environmental exposures. It is diagnosed based on the symptoms and through a biopsy of the affected area of the scalp. Treatment may include surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. The long-term outlook for this rare cancer depends on how early it is diagnosed and the response to treatment.
What is the outlook (prognosis) for Angiosarcoma of the Scalp?
Angiosarcoma of the scalp is considered an aggressive cancer with an unfavorable prognosis. Without treatment,
the original tumor typically increases in size and may bleed or form an open sore (ulcer). Eventually, the tumor is likely to spread (metastasize) into nearby tissues or to other parts of the body, such as the lungs. The progression of this condition depends on the initial size of the tumor and whether there are multiple spots (multifocal lesions). Studies have found that, even with treatment, half of affected individuals survive for 15 to 22 months following diagnosis, and approximately one third survive for five years.