Double-edged sword of radiotherapy: a cause of secondary angiosarcoma after breast conservation therapy

BMJ Case Rep. 2016 Apr 25;2016:bcr2016215310. doi: 10.1136/bcr-2016-215310.


Angiosarcomas are rare and aggressive malignant tumours of vascular or endothelial origin that can originate in the breast. They can be classified as primary or secondary, with the latter most commonly due to postoperative radiotherapy as part of breast conservation therapy (wide local excision and adjuvant radiotherapy) for breast cancer. We report a case of postirradiation secondary angiosarcoma in a 56-year-old woman, alongside a review of the current literature, to inform clinicians of its clinical presentation and characteristics as a high index of clinical suspicion is required for an accurate diagnosis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Breast / pathology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Breast Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Breast Neoplasms / surgery
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / radiotherapy*
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / surgery
  • Conservative Treatment
  • Female
  • Hemangiosarcoma / diagnosis*
  • Hemangiosarcoma / etiology
  • Hemangiosarcoma / surgery
  • Humans
  • Mastectomy, Segmental*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms, Second Primary / diagnosis*
  • Neoplasms, Second Primary / etiology
  • Neoplasms, Second Primary / pathology
  • Neoplasms, Second Primary / surgery
  • Radiotherapy, Adjuvant / adverse effects*