What is it?

Malignant mast cell tumor, or mastocytoma, is a type of round- cell tumor which consists of mast cells. Mast cells are a component of the immune system, which release histamine and are in association with allergic reactions. Also, they have a role in the response to tissue trauma Mast cells originate from the bone marrow and are found in the body within connective tissue. Not all mast cells tumors are malignant. In humans, mastocytomas are usually found in the skin on the trunk or wrist. Rarely, it could be found in the lung.

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Malignant Mast Cell Tumors of Lymph Nodes of Multiple Sites

Signs & symptoms

Symptoms of malignant mast cell tumor may include skin blisters, nausea, stomach pain, diarrhea, vomiting, bone pain, flushing, sudden drop in blood pressure and fainting.


Diagnosis of malignant mast cell tumor is done with a needle aspiration biopsy by proving a large number of mast cells. In order to find the grade of the tumor, a surgical biopsy has to be done. Furthermore, X-rays, ultrasound, or lymph nodes, bone marrow, or organ biopsies may be necessary to stage the disease.


Treatment of malignant mast cell tumor includes a surgical removal of it with wide margins, due to its tendency of spreading. If a complete removal is not available, further treatment such as chemotherapy, such as vinblastine, and radiation is needed. Antihistamines must be given prior to surgery to protect against the effects of histamine released from the tumor.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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