Angioma (patient information)
Angioma On the Web
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Angioma, is also called hemangioma, cavernous hemangioma and strawberry nevus. It is an abnormal build up of blood vessels in the skin or internal organs such as liver and brain. It is not a true cancer. Usual signs in the skin are a red to reddish-purple, raised sore on the skin, or a massive raised tumor with blood vessels. Patients may feel no discomfort due to their angioma. Angioma's on the skin can be diagnosed by a dermatologist and Angioma's on internal organs can be detected by image scans.
What are the symptoms of Angioma?
Skin angioma: Skin angioma can be diagnosed by your dermatologist. Most hemangiomas are on the face and neck. The usual signs are the following:
- A red to reddish-purple, raised sore on the skin
- A massive, raised tumor with blood vessels
Internal organ angioma: Patients with internal organ angiomas may not feel any discomfort at the beginning. When the angioma grows larger, some symptoms may appear including:
- Pain: This is due to the compression of the angioma on normal tissues.
- Bleeding: The walls of angiomas are very weak. Angioma's have a high risk of rupturing and bleeding. If it bleeds, it is dangerous and can cause death.
- Dysfunction of the internal organs: In the liver, the angioma can cause liver dysfunction and appear as jaundice and dyspepsia. In the brain, large angiomas can actually compress important nerves and may cause feeling disorders, movements disorders and even hemiplegia.
Who is at highest risk?
Data suggests that risk factor statistics for angiomas include:
- There is a 1 in 200 chance of having a cavernous angioma if the parent has a solitary cavernous angioma in the US
- There is a 50% chance of having a cavernous angioma if the parent has a multiple cavernous angiomas in the US
When to seek urgent medical care?
Call your health care provider if symptoms of an angioma develop. If you experience either of the following symptoms, seek urgent medical care as soon as possible:
- Secondary infection of a skin angioma
- Local severe pain: such as severe headache, severe abdominal pain.
Skin angioma: Skin angioma's can be detected by your dermatologist when performing a physical examination.
Internal organs angioma: Internal organs angioma's can be found by image scans such as ultrasound, CT or MRI. These image scans can confirm the location of the angioma and show the organs around the angioma.
Skin angioma: Small skin angioma's require no treatment. When an angioma interferes with vision, breathing, or threatens significant cosmetic injury, they are usually treated.
- Drugs therapy: First oral corticosteroid is usually prescribed, then interferon or vincristine if the former does not work.
- Injection therapy: Injection of corticosteroid directly into the lesion.
- Pulsed dye laser
Internal organs angioma: The treatment depends on how big the angioma is.
- Small angioma: A small angioma does not need any treatment, it just needs to be checked regularly by your doctor
- Large angioma: A large angioma needs to treated by surgery, intervention and radiotherapy.
Diseases with similar symptoms
- Other bleeding node on the skin.
- Other forms of organ cancers.
Where to find medical care for cancer?
There is no known way to prevent angiomas at present.
What to expect (Outlook/Prognosis)?
- Skin angioma: Small, superficial hemangiomas often disappear on their own. About 50% go away by age 5, and 90% are gone by age 9.
- Internal organ angioma: The prognosis of internal organ angioma depends on the location, the size and whether the angioma rupture or not.