Vascular tumors consist of four different groups- benign, locally aggressive, rarely metastasizing and malignant. All groups are formed from cells that make up blood or lymph vessels. They are found anywhere in the body and are the result of abnormal cell development. The most common type of vascular tumor affecting children in the United States is infantile hemangioma. This type of tumor is benign and does not normally require treatment for removal.
Diagnosis involves a physical exam that takes general health, indications of existing disease, abnormalities such as lumps and lesions and the child’s medical history into account. An ultrasound, CAT scan, MRI or all three are used to produce imaging that will aid in diagnosing vascular tumors. Although malignant vascular tumors are rare in children, a biopsy will allow a pathologist to determine whether there are cancerous cells present.
Vascular Tumors Treatment
Beta blocker and drug therapies are used in many cases to avoid the need for targeted therapy or surgery. After a specialist evaluation, Dr. Greg Levitin will have a full diagnosis on which to base your child’s treatment options, which may include photocoagulation, sclerotherapy or embolization. Observation also plays an important role in managing vascular tumors throughout childhood, and will require regular checkups at the Vascular Birthmark Center.
Laser therapy and surgical options can be carried out by Dr. Greg Levitin and his team at either our New York or Los Angeles offices. These treatments are designed to allow for minimally invasive removal of some or all of the vascular tumor tissue. We work with parents to ensure that patients are receiving all necessary treatments and any potential side effects are explained.
As your child may need to receive certain treatments outside of the Vascular Birthmark Center, it is important to us that his or her overall care plan is fully comprehensive. Our team is more than happy to consult with other medical professionals to ensure that our patients receive only the best care possible.
Follow-up Care and Support
One of the components that is often missing from vascular malformation diagnosis, and any subsequent treatment, is follow-up care and support for young patients. At the Vascular Birthmark Center, we will provide you with access to the large database of resources available from the Vascular Birthmarks Foundation (VBF), a group which Dr. Greg Levitin avidly supports.
If you are worried about the impact of vascular tumors on your child’s health, you can reach out to our team in either New York or Los Angeles today. However, if you would prefer not to discuss medical issues over the phone, you can also have a free online consultation with one of our team members.