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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Your Question

What is a hemangioendothelioma?  How common is it?

Our Answer

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What is a hemangioendothelioma?

The term hemangioendothelioma describes several types of vascular neosplasms and includes both non-cancerous (benign) and cancerous (malignant) growths. The term has also been applied to those that show "borderline" behavior, intermediate between entirely benign hemangiomas and highly malignant angiosarcomas.[1] Hemangioendotheliomas are caused by abnormal growth of blood vessel cells, although the exact underlying cause for the abnormal growth is unknown. They can also develop in an organ, such as the liver or lung. They usually grow slowly and can sometimes spread to other tissues in the body (metastasize).[2][1] Examples of types of hemangioendotheliomas include spindle cell hemangioma; papillary intralymphatic (Dabska tumor); retiform; kaposiform; epithelioid; pseudomyogenic (epithelioid sarcoma-like hemangioendothelioma); and composite.[1] Treatment depends on the type of hemangioendothelioma present but typically includes surgical excision (removal).
Last updated: 7/10/2013

How common is hemangioendothelioma?

Hemangioendotheliomas are very rare.  The National Cancer Institute reported that only 21 people in the United States were diagnosed with hemangioendothelioma from 2003 to 2007. [3]
Last updated: 10/5/2010