Hemangiosarcoma is a rapidly growing, highly invasive variety of
cancer. It is a
that is, blood vessels grow directly into the tumor and it is typically
filled with blood. A frequent cause of death is the rupturing of this
tumor, causing the victim to rapidly bleed to death.
The phrase "angiosarcoma", when used without modifier, usually refers to
glomangiosarcoma (8710/3) and
lymphangiosarcoma (9170/3) are distinct conditions.
Hemangiosarcoma in dogs
This cancer is somewhat common in
dogs, and more so in certain breeds including
Retrievers. It occurs but is rare in
cats. The dog often exhibits no
symptoms until the tumor has become very large and has
Owners often discover that the dog has hemangiosarcoma when the dog collapses
The tumor most often appears on the
spleen or the
heart, although varieties
also appear on the skin or in other locations. It is the most common tumor of
the heart, and occurs in the
Here it can cause right-sided
pericardial effusion. Hemangiosarcoma of the spleen or
liver is the most common
tumor to cause
hemorrhage in the abdomen.
Hemangiosarcoma of the skin
usually appears as a small red or bluish-black lump. It can also occur under the
skin. It is suspected that in the skin, hemangiosarcoma is caused by
sun exposure. Other the
sites the tumor may occur include
bone, the kidney, the
mouth, and the
central nervous system.
Hemangiosarcoma can cause
anemia, low platelet
disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC). Symptoms of splenic
hemangiosarcoma include loss of appetite, arrhythmias, weight loss, weakness,
and lethargy. An enlarged abdomen is often seen due to hemorrhage or tumor
growth. Metastasis is most commonly to the
lungs, liver, or
and, where practical, removal of the tumor with the affected organ, such as with
a splenectomy. It
is not clear how effective the treatment is; few if any studies have been done,
although a study involving splenectomies and chemotherapy was underway on the
east coast of the
United States in 2003. Splenectomy alone gives an average survival time of
Hemangiosarcoma on internal organs is usually fatal even with treatment, and
usually within weeks or, at best, months. In the skin, it can be cured in most
cases with complete surgical removal.
- Ettinger, Stephen J.;Feldman, Edward C.(1995).Textbook of Veterinary
Internal Medicine(4th ed.). W.B. Saunders Company.
- Morrison, Wallace B. (1998). Cancer in Dogs and Cats (1st ed.).
Williams and Wilkins.
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