Oncologist-approved cancer information from the American Society of Clinical Oncology
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Mastocytosis

This section has been reviewed and approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 4/2013
Symptoms and Signs

ON THIS PAGE: You will find out more about body changes and other things that can signal a problem that may need medical care. To see other pages in this guide, use the colored boxes on the right side of your screen, or click “Next” at the bottom.

People with mastocytosis may experience the following symptoms or signs. Sometimes, people with mastocytosis do not show any of these symptoms. Or, these symptoms may be caused by another medical condition. If you are concerned about a symptom or sign on this list, please talk with your doctor or a dermatologist (a doctor who specializes in skin problems).

General symptoms

  • Hives
  • Red, itchy rash
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fainting
  • Facial flushing (reddening of the face)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing (trouble breathing)
  • Psychological changes (for example, irritability or an inability to concentrate)

Urticaria pigmentosa

  • Tan or red-brown spots on the skin
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Increased heart rate
  • Facial flushing (reddening of the face)
  • Psychological changes (for example, irritability or an inability to concentrate)

Solitary mastocytoma

  • Raised or flat reddish-brown spot on the skin
  • Hives
  • Itching

Diffuse erythrodermic mastocytosis

  • Thickening of the skin
  • Blisters

Telangiectasia macularis eruptiva perstans

  • Small lesions that do not itch

Systemic mastocytosis

  • Skin lesions
  • Urticaria pigmentosa
  • Facial flushing (reddening of the face)
  • Itching
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Ulcers in the stomach and duodenum (small intestine)
  • Headache
  • Lightheadedness
  • Heart palpitations (an irregular or unusually rapid beating of the heart)
  • Bone pain
  • Anemia (low red blood cell count, which can cause fatigue)
  • Psychological changes (for example, irritability or an inability to concentrate)

Symptoms of systemic mastocytosis can sometimes occur as “attacks,” where more than one symptom appears at the same time. Following an attack, the person may feel tired and lethargic (drowsy, lacking energy).

Your doctor will ask you questions about the symptoms you are experiencing to help find out the cause of the problem, called a diagnosis. This may include how long you’ve been experiencing the symptom(s) and how often.

If mastocytosis is diagnosed, relieving symptoms and side effects is an important part of your care and treatment. This may also be called symptom management, palliative care, or supportive care. Be sure to talk with your health care team about symptoms you experience, including any new symptoms or a change in symptoms.

Choose “Next” (below, right) to continue reading this guide to learn about what tests and procedures you may have to learn more about the cause of your symptoms. Or, use the colored boxes located on the right side of your screen to visit any section.

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