Breast Cancer Research and Treatment

, Volume 122, Issue 3, pp 883–887 | Cite as

Changing clinical presentation of angiosarcomas after breast cancer: from late tumors in edematous arms to earlier tumors on the thoracic wall

  • Emelie Styring
  • Josefin Fernebro
  • Per-Ebbe Jönsson
  • Anna Ehinger
  • Jacob Engellau
  • Pehr Rissler
  • Anders Rydholm
  • Mef Nilbert
  • Fredrik Vult von Steyern


Angiosarcoma is a rare complication of breast cancer treatment. In order to define predictors, clinical presentation, and outcome, we characterized a population-based 50-year cohort of angiosarcomas after breast cancer. Clinical data were collected from all females with previous breast cancer who developed angiosarcomas/lymphangiosarcomas on the thoracic wall/upper extremity between 1958 and 2008 in the Southern Swedish health care region. In total, 31 angiosarcomas developed at a median age of 71 years. The patients formed two distinct groups; 14 females treated for breast cancer with radical mastectomy and radiotherapy 1949–1988 developed angiosarcomas in edematous arms (Stewart–Treves syndrome) after median 11 years, and 17 females treated by segmental resection, anti-hormonal treatment and radiotherapy 1980–2005 developed angiosarcomas in the irradiated field on the thoracic wall after median 7.3 years. The clinical presentations were heterogeneous and included hematoma-like lesions, multiple bluish-reddish nodules, and asymptomatic lumps. The overall 5-year survival was 16%. In this population-based cohort, the early angiosarcomas developed in edematous arms after radical mastectomies, whereas more recent cases occurred after a shorter time period in the irradiated fields following breast conserving surgery. We conclude that the clinical presentation of angiosarcomas has changed, parallel with altered treatment principles for breast cancer.


Soft tissue sarcoma Radiation-induced sarcoma Population-based Secondary sarcoma 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emelie Styring
    • 1
    • 2
  • Josefin Fernebro
    • 2
  • Per-Ebbe Jönsson
    • 3
    • 4
  • Anna Ehinger
    • 5
  • Jacob Engellau
    • 2
  • Pehr Rissler
    • 6
  • Anders Rydholm
    • 1
  • Mef Nilbert
    • 2
    • 7
  • Fredrik Vult von Steyern
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of OrthopedicsLund University HospitalLundSweden
  2. 2.Department of Oncology, Institute of Clinical SciencesLund University HospitalLundSweden
  3. 3.Department of SurgeryHelsingborg HospitalHelsingborgSweden
  4. 4.Department of Surgery, Institute of Clinical SciencesLund UniversityMalmöSweden
  5. 5.Department of PathologyHelsingborg HospitalHelsingborgSweden
  6. 6.Department of Pathology, Institute of Clinical SciencesLund University HospitalLundSweden
  7. 7.Clinical Research CentreHvidovre Hospital, Copenhagen UniversityCopenhagenDenmark

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