Extremely rare cancerous tumor that arises from the endothelial cells of blood vessels and lymph vessels.

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What is an Angiosarcoma?

An angiosarcoma is an extremely rare cancerous tumor that arises from the endothelial cells of blood vessels. It is usually diagnosed after the disease has already spread. 

Signs and Symptoms
Signs and Symptoms
  • • Signs and symptoms include include a blue-red skin lesion and a rapidly growing painless mass.
  • • A raised area of skin that looks like a bruise, a bruise-like lesion that grows larger over time, a lesion that may bleed when scratched or bumped.
  • • Swelling caused by a backup of lymph fluid, called lymphedema.
  • • Past radiation therapy.
  • • Exposure to some cancer-causing chemicals.
Who is usually affected?
Who is usually affected?
  • • No predilection for sex or race.
  • • Occurs most often in elderly individuals, breast cancer patients with chronic lymphedema and radiation.
Common Areas Involved
Common Areas Involved
  • • Forms in the lining of the blood vessels and lymph vessels.
  • • Most often occurs in the  skin of the head and neck.
  • • Can occur in skin, breast, liver and spleen. 
Biological Behavior
Biological Behavior
  • • Biological behavior is that it is a very aggressive tumor, often preceded by lymphedema and radiation. Tumors can get large exceeding 5 cm.
  • • High death rate. If the tumor is larger than 5 cm, the 5 year survival rate is 5-15%.
  • Likely to metastasize. It can metastasize to the skin and soft tissue, lungs, lymph nodes, liver and bones.



  • • The work-up often consists of a physical examination, X-rays, CT scans, MRI, and sometimes bone scans are required. CT scans can be used to check for subtle mineralization that may help with the diagnosis
  • • CT of the chest is necessary to check for pulmonary metastases. The lungs and other bones are the to most common sites for the tumor to spread.
  • • The diagnosis is often confirmed with a biopsy, which means taking a sample of tumor and having it analyzed under a microscope by a pathologist.

Risk to your limbs

Angiosarcomas are cancerous aggressive tumors that, if left unchecked, will grow and destroy your normal bone. Clinically, local pain and swelling may be the first sign. As the tumor slowly grows, the bone is weakened and you are at an increased risk of breaking the bone due to the tumor, called a pathological fracture. They may also spread to your lungs or other bones.

Radiographic imaging is used to help form a diagnosis. These include X-Ray, MRI, CT and Bone Scans

An example of an MRI is shown.

Treatment of Angiosarcoma

Treatment includes wide and deep excision, radiation and chemotherapy. 

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Hey! I am Dr. Wittig.

Myself and my amazing team are dedicated to saving your life and your limb. Losing a limb because of a tumor can be a terrifying experience. But, it does not have to be the only option. I’ve spent 20+ years as a Board-Certified Orthopedic Surgeon and Orthopedic Oncologist.

I’ve devoted my career to helping children and adults afflicted with bone and soft tissue masses by performing complex limb saving surgeries. Most patients can have their limb saved, which may require innovative techniques.

Patients afflicted with musculoskeletal tumors have complex conditions that are best taken care of at large hospitals. I am the Chairman of Orthopedics and Chief of Orthopedic Oncology at Morristown Medical Center. My philosophy is a multidisciplinary team approach, working together to tailor treatment to individual patients. Education and research are essential to my practice, providing the best setting for extraordinary patient care. Because of this, we have some of the top results in the country.