Sunday, October 11, 2009

Angiosarcoma consecutive to chronic lymphoedema: a Stewart-Treves syndrome


Lymphangiosarcoma referred to as angiosarcoma or Stewart Treves Syndrome is a possible complication
of long term (chronic) lymphedema. It has always been reported as rare, but ironically in the groups I participate in there
have been several members over the last couple years that have come down with it.

Historically, it was though that this mostly effected breast cancer survivors, but now is being recognized as something
that is possible for all chronic LE patients. Indeed, every one of the members who got it were not breast cancer patients.
A couple had other types of cancer and another two were primary lymphedema.

Also, it needs to be mentioned that in every case our members had bruises that didn't heal. When they were biopsied, it
turned out to be lymphangiosarcoma. it is critical that we keep check on our limbs that are effected and don't assume
any change is simply a discoloration cause by the LE.

In my own case, I had a small perfectly round spot on the calf of my left leg. It continued to grow until it reached
the size of a quarter. For me, it turned out to be mixed b-cell lymphoma.

So pay attention and report to your doctor when these spots arise.


Angiosarcoma consecutive to chronic lymphoedema: a Stewart-Treves syndrome

Rev Med Liege. 2009 Jul-Aug

Université de Liège, Belgique.

The Stewart-Treves Syndrome is defined as an angiosarcoma (very aggressive malignant tumor originating from endothelial cells) appearing in a specific clinical setting. This tumor develops in patients suffering from chronic lymphedema of the upper limb following mastectomy and axillary lymph node dissection for breast cancer. The diagnosis relies on medical history, clinical examination and a histological assesment (biopsy or resection). This syndrome represents a rare clinical entity. Unfortunately, the prognosis is poor. A large surgical resection is the treatment of choice if the patient is a candidate for a surgical resection with a curative intent Radiotherapy is sometimes used as a palliative local treatment. Chemotherapy is only used in more advanced cases, not curable by surgery alone.

Pub Med

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Stewart Treves Syndrome