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Angiolipoma is a type of benign tumor or skin lesion that contains blood vessels, which are usually capillaries, and tissue. It is an angioma, which is a type of growth formed out of newly created blood vessels. Angiolipoma is also known as lipoma cavernosum or telangiectatic lipoma.
The category that angiolipoma belongs to, lipoma, is a benign tumor made of a combination of fat deposits referred to as adipose tissue. It is considered the most common form of soft tissue growth. Unlike most lipomas, however, angiolipoma is painful.
Angiolipoma is a subcutaneous nodule, which means that the tumor is located under the skin. Thus, this condition is like superficial subcutaneous lipoma, which is the most common form of lipoma, and angiolipoleiomyoma, which is characterized by smooth muscle cells as one of its major components. Additionally, it has a yellow color, just like chondroid lipoma, which most commonly occurs on the legs of women. Other common types of lipoma include corpus callosum lipoma, which tend to grow larger than their normal size, and hibernoma, which consists of brown adipose tissue.
Several medical researchers split the condition into two types. The non-infiltrating kind, which occurs far more often than the other, is usually found in young people in their adulthood. This subcategory comprises soft and painful tumors. The infiltrating angiolipomas are so named because of their ability to spread to surrounding tissues or other structures of the body such as bones, nerves and muscles. The infiltrating kind is much rarer, though.
Lipomas in general mostly affect people roughly between the ages of 20 and 60. With angiolipoma, it tends to appear as multiple tumors. In some cases, this can happen as early as puberty. The size of the tumors is usually less than 0.8 inches (2 centimeters).
The cause of this condition is still unknown. Some people, however, have suggested that it could be a hereditary condition. Also, studies have suggested that certain injuries may be able to induce the development of lipomas. As for the chances of angiolipoma in general becoming malignant or developing into cancer, some medical researchers believe in the possibility while others do not.
Lipomas in general are deemed unnecessary for removal since they are benign tumors and are thus not dangerous. Angiolipomas, however, cause pain, so they typically necessitate treatment. The physician surgically removes the lesions if the patient has the non-infiltrating kind. Treatment for infiltrating angiolipomas usually involves resection. This means that the physician removes part of the tumor to reduce the pain that the patient experiences.