Case Report

Stewart–Treves syndrome: A Rare but Aggressive Complication of Breast Cancer Related-Lymphedema


  • Pınar Borman
  • Ayşegül Yaman
  • Özay Gököz

Received Date: 20.04.2020 Accepted Date: 22.06.2020 Eur J Breast Health 0;0(0):0-0 [e-Pub]

Stewart-Treves syndrome (STS) is an angiosarcoma developed on a longstanding lymphedematous extremity. Most of the affected patients have a history of breast cancer that was treated with radical mastectomy. We report a case of STS who has had breast cancer-related lymphedema (BCRL) for 7 years. A 56-year-old woman presented with chronic lymphedema of the right arm. She had modified radical mastectomy for grade 2 invasive ductal breast cancer nine years ago. Physical examination indicated a tender purplish lesion on the medial half of the affected arm. The lesion has spread out quickly with different- sized, scattered, purple-colored lesions on the affected area. A prompt skin biopsy was reported as STS. An immediate arm amputation was performed. But in a few months she presented with new lesions on the anterior thorax and subsequently local recurrence around the scar. Although she had received radiation-therapy, the angiosarcoma spread to pelvic and upper limb area with scattered skin lesions 6 months later. She had several problems during the chemotherapy and radiation-therapy however she reached the survival beyond 20 months. In conclusion Stewart-Treves Syndrome is a rare but aggressive and important complication of BCRL. The awareness of fast-progressing skin lesions and detailed investigation as well as prompt surgical procedures are needed for BCRL patients in order to relatively increase the survival time.

Keywords: Breast cancer, lymphedema, lymphangiosarcoma, Stewart-Treves syndrome