A hemangioma is a benign and usually self-involuting tumor (swelling or growth) of the endothelial cells that line blood vessels that is characterised by increased number of normal or abnormal vessels filled with blood. It usually appears in the first weeks of life and grows most rapidly over the first six months. Usually, growth is complete and involution has commenced by twelve months. Half of all infantile hemangiomas have completed involution by age five, 70% by age seven, and most of the remainder by age twelve. In more severe cases hemangiomas may leave residual tissue damage. In infancy, it is the most common tumor. The word "hemangioma" comes from the Greek haema- (a?µa), "blood"; angeio (a??e??), "vessel"; -oma (-?µa), "tumor".
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