What Is Hemangiosarcoma?

Hemangiosarcoma is a rare type of cancer that develops in the cells that line blood vessels. It is found most commonly in the liver and spleen, but can also occur in the heart, skin, and other organs. It can affect both humans and animals, and is usually diagnosed in older individuals.

Symptoms of Hemangiosarcoma

Hemangiosarcoma has a variety of symptoms, which depend on the location and extent of the cancer. Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Jaundice
  • Abdominal pain or swelling
  • Labored breathing
  • Nosebleeds
  • Bruising
  • Lumps on the surface of the skin

Diagnosing Hemangiosarcoma

Diagnosing hemangiosarcoma involves identification of the neoplastic cells, which may be done through biopsy and imaging tests. Imaging tests such as computed tomography (CT) scan, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, and ultrasound can also help to ascertain the size, shape, and spread of the cancer. Other tests, such as laboratory tests of the blood, can also help to determine the presence of hemangiosarcoma, as well as the extent of the cancer.

Treatment for Hemangiosarcoma

There is no cure for hemangiosarcoma, but treatments can help to slow the progression of the cancer. The type of treatment prescribed depends on the extent of the cancer and the individual's overall health. Possible treatments include:

  • Surgery: To remove the tumor or the affected organ
  • Radiation therapy: To kill cancerous cells
  • Chemotherapy: To slow down the growth of the cancer
  • Immunotherapy: To boost the immune system and help the body fight cancer
  • Hormone therapy: To target hormones associated with cancer growth