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J Am Acad Dermatol. 2003 Sep;49(3):532-8.

Cutaneous angiosarcoma as a delayed complication of radiation therapy for carcinoma of the breast.

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Division of Dermatology and Cutaneous Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.


Three cases of cutaneous angiosarcoma of the breast that arose in irradiated skin tissue in women who had previously undergone treatment for breast carcinoma are reported. A review of the literature identified 55 cases of cutaneous angiosarcoma following radiation therapy as part of the treatment of carcinoma of the breast. For all 58 assembled cases, the mean age at the time of adjuvant radiation therapy for breast carcinoma was 64 years (range 42-83). The mean time to subsequent diagnosis in irradiated skin was 75 months (range 12-192). The estimated 3-year overall survival for all 58 patients was only 20%, similar to that of patients with the general form of angiosarcoma. Postirradiation angiosarcoma of the breast has a variety of presentations; thus diagnosis is often delayed. Early diagnosis relies on a high index of suspicion and appropriate histopathologic studies, as the clinical and histopathologic findings may be confused with other conditions. Treatment should be aggressive and include local surgery with consideration of adjuvant systemic chemotherapy.

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