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Diagnosed with breast cancer. Noticed blue veins passing from left arm and crossing breast bone. Cause?

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Practicing since : 1997
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I have a history of lupus and was just diagnosed with breast cancer. I have noticed a road map of bright blue veins down my left arm and now starting to cross over my breast bone to the top of the right side. What is causing this!?!
Posted Wed, 20 Nov 2013 in Breast Cancer
Answered by Dr. Kulsoom Qureshi 6 hours later
Brief Answer:
Venous obstruction is a likely cause.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for consulting us.
The most likely cause of this in your case is an obstruction to the venous blood flow. When the veins cannot drain properly then they dilate & become obvious.
Your breast lump may have pressed one of the venous outflow tracts & is causing this problem.
You should not be scared of it & go ahead with the treatment suggested by your doctor.
Wish you best of luck & good health.
Take care.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Diagnosed with breast cancer. Noticed blue veins passing from left arm and crossing breast bone. Cause? 11 hours later
Dr. thaak you for your response. I thought it might be a clot and ultra sound was conducted on both arms, legs and neck. No clots were found. The tumor is small ( 1cm) and in my right breast. The veins that are becoming highly visible are on my left arm, left breast and is only just now beginning to cross over into the right side of my breast bone. The veins are not tender. You can easily follow their path like someone drew on my arm with a marker. They create long paths not a bunch of tiny or twisted little lines. A chest ct has also been done to rule out abstraction around the heart and was deemed clear. I have read online of others, mostly who also have lupus who have experienced this. If it is not a blockage what else could be causing it and is there any treatment to reverse it because it is very unsightly, especially the giant blue loop around my left breast. Ironically the cancer breast looks fine. No bright blue visible veins.
Answered by Dr. Kulsoom Qureshi 21 hours later
Brief Answer:
Few suggestions

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for your reply.
Vasculitis which is associated with lupus has some symptoms like tenderness & this should not be confined to your chest.
I did not mean to say that you have any obstruction in these prominent veins.
Our venous drainage is not as strictly planned by nature as arterial supply. So, if there is some complete or partial obstruction in one route, other collateral paths become prominent or visible. These veins actually represent the collateral paths which are patent.
I think you should wait for the treatment of your cancer, before taking any step for these veins. If they persist after definitive treatment, you may consult a vascular surgeon for help.
Hope this clears your query.
Take care.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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