What is the role of radical mastectomy in the etiology of angiosarcoma (AS)?

Updated: Sep 04, 2018
  • Author: Maria Belén Carsi, MD, PhD, FRCS; Chief Editor: Edwin Choy, MD, PhD  more...
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Answer

Chronic lymphedema is the most widely recognized risk factor, especially in angiosarcomas of the skin and soft tissue. Typically, lymphedema-associated angiosarcomas occur in women who have undergone radical mastectomy for breast carcinoma and have had chronic lymphedema for many years (Stewart-Treves syndrome) or in the leg of patients as a consequence of radical inguinal lymphadenectomy for metastases from malignant melanoma (Kettles syndrome). [2]

Chronic lymphedema occurring on a congenital, idiopathic, traumatic, or infectious basis also predisposes to angiosarcoma. The rationale for this association is the immunologic privilege of a lymphedematous region.


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