What are the other Names for this Condition? (Also known as/Synonyms)
- Diffuse Angioma of Breast
- Mammary Angiomatosis
What is Angiomatosis of Breast? (Definition/Background Information)
- An angiomatosis is a benign condition, wherein there is a growth of small blood vessels (or capillaries) involving multiple tissue types, organs, muscles, and bones. They are known to appear or spread across a large section of the body
- Angiomatosis of Breast is a very rare and benign vascular tumor of breast affecting young, middle-aged, and slightly older women. It is known to grow to large sizes
- The cause of Angiomatosis of Breast is unknown, but the risk factors may include smoking and gender (women are affected more than men)
- The signs and symptoms of Angiomatosis of Breast may include the presence of a mass in the breast and sudden rapid growth of the mass during pregnancy. Small-sized tumors may be asymptomatic and show no signs and symptoms
- Angiomatosis of Breast is treated through a surgical excision, per the healthcare provider’s recommendation. The prognosis is excellent with its complete removal, since it is a benign tumor. However, periodic checkups and screening mammograms are advised to lookout for any recurrences
Who gets Angiomatosis of Breast? (Age and Sex Distribution)
- Angiomatosis of Breast is a very rare, benign breast tumor that may also be seen at birth (congenital presentation)
- The age of presentation of Angiomatosis of Breast is usually between 20-60 years with a strong female predominance
- All racial and ethnic groups are affected and no specific predilection is seen
What are the Risk Factors for Angiomatosis of Breast? (Predisposing Factors)
The specific risk factors for Angiomatosis of Breast may include:
- Gender: Women have a higher risk for developing the condition than men
- Angiomatosis of Breast is associated with smoking
It is important to note that having a risk factor does not mean that one will get the condition. A risk factor increases ones chances of getting a condition compared to an individual without the risk factors. Some risk factors are more important than others.
Also, not having a risk factor does not mean that an individual will not get the condition. It is always important to discuss the effect of risk factors with your healthcare provider.
What are the Causes of Angiomatosis of Breast? (Etiology)
- The exact cause of development of Angiomatosis of Breast is currently not clearly understood
- Certain gene mutations have also been reported in the tumors. Research is being performed to determine how these mutations contribute to the formation of the tumors
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Angiomatosis of Breast?
The signs and symptoms of Angiomatosis of Breast may include:
- A benign mass observed in a single breast
- Some tumors may be large-sized; some are also known to grow very rapidly during pregnancy
- Large tumors can cause significant signs and symptoms than small-sized tumors
- The tumor is generally painless
How is Angiomatosis of Breast Diagnosed?
Angiomatosis of Breast may be diagnosed in the following manner:
- Complete physical examination with comprehensive medical and family history evaluation
- Breast exam to check for any lumps or unusual signs in the breasts
- Mammogram: A mammogram uses x-rays to provide images of the breast. These benign tumors are identified as a mammogram mass, which may or may not be associated with microcalcification. The mammography findings may raise enough suspicion to warrant a tissue biopsy
- Breast ultrasound scan: Using high-frequency sound waves to produce images of the breast, the type of tumor, whether fluid-filled cyst or solid mass type, may be identified
- Computerized tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan of the breast
- Breast biopsy:
- A biopsy of the tumor is performed and sent to a laboratory for a pathological examination. A pathologist examines the biopsy under a microscope. After putting together clinical findings, special studies on tissues (if needed) and with microscope findings, the pathologist arrives at a definitive diagnosis. Examination of the biopsy under a microscope by a pathologist is considered to be gold standard in arriving at a conclusive diagnosis
- Biopsy specimens are studied initially using Hematoxylin and Eosin staining. The pathologist then decides on additional studies depending on the clinical situation
- Sometimes, the pathologist may perform additional studies, which may include immunohistochemical stains and molecular studies to assist in the diagnosis
Biopsies are the only methods used to determine whether an abnormality is benign or cancerous. These are performed by inserting a needle into a breast mass and removing cells or tissues, for further examination. There are different types of biopsies:
- Fine needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB) of breast mass: In this method, a very thin needle is used to remove a small amount of tissue. FNAB cannot help definitively diagnose Angiomatosis of Breast. It only helps determine if the tumor is malignant or benign. This can help the healthcare provider discuss and plan the next steps (with respect to diagnosis and treatment)
- Core needle biopsy of breast mass: A wider needle is used to withdraw a small cylinder of tissue from an abnormal area of the breast
- Open tissue biopsy of breast mass: A surgical procedure used less often than needle biopsies, it is used to remove a part or all of a breast lump for analysis
Many clinical conditions may have similar signs and symptoms. Your healthcare provider may perform additional tests to rule out other clinical conditions to arrive at a definitive diagnosis.
What are the possible Complications of Angiomatosis of Breast?
There may not be any significant complications of Angiomatosis of Breast.
- However, in some cases, the condition may cause emotional stress due to concerns of a malignancy, due to increase in size
- The tumor may recur following treatment (incomplete excision of the tumor), sometimes after many years
How is Angiomatosis of Breast treated?
The following treatment methods for Angiomatosis of Breast may be considered:
- A ‘wait and watch’ approach may be considered for asymptomatic angiomatosis
- A simple surgical excision and removal of the entire Angiomatosis of Breast is normally sufficient treatment
- The surgical procedure performed is known as a breast lumpectomy. It is a surgical procedure to remove the breast lump, which may be done under a general anesthetic
- During the surgery, a small incision is made in the skin of the breast and a hollow probe that is connected to a vacuum, inserted
- The breast tissue is sucked through the probe, using vacuum, until the lump has been removed
- Angiomatosis of Breast may be treated through a mastectomy to remove the entire lesion, in some cases if required
- Follow-up care with frequent breast self-examinations and screening mammograms may be recommended by the healthcare provider
How can Angiomatosis of Breast be Prevented?
The development of Angiomatosis of Breast is difficult to prevent. Currently, no specific preventive measures are available to avoid Mammary Angiomatosis.
In general, however, it is important to be aware of certain risk factors for breast tumors, which include:
- The individual must regularly conduct breast self-exams, to ensure that no lumps are present
- Maintain a healthy body weight and exercise regularly
- Implement and follow a well-balanced diet; a high intake of fiber via fresh fruits and vegetables helps in a healthy lifestyle
- Avoid or completely stop smoking
- Drink alcohol in moderation; limit to one or (maximum) two drinks a day
- Limit combination hormone therapy used to treat symptoms of menopause. It is advised that individuals be aware of the potential benefits and risks of hormone therapy
What is the Prognosis of Angiomatosis of Breast? (Outcomes/Resolutions)
- The prognosis of Angiomatosis of Breast is generally excellent on a surgical excision and removal of the entire tumor
- Periodic follow-up check-ups with screening may be required to avoid the risk of recurrence
Additional and Relevant Useful Information for Angiomatosis of Breast:
The following DoveMed website links are useful resources for additional information: