Little-Known cancer, at least in the media, angiosarcoma strikes the lining of blood vessels. Since blood vessels run throughout the entire body, unfortunately, this cancer can occur in any body area–and can be very aggressive. The facial skin and the scalp (sites of cutaneous angiosarcoma), is the most common area where the cancer is found, and it may be misdiagnosed as a skin infection. Subcutaneous angiosarcoma (below the skin) is often found in the breast. The best defense is the early diagnosis. Our vein clinic can help to ensure your vein health by treating varicose veins, discovering hidden blood clots or abnormalities that might indicate angiosarcoma, and providing other vein treatment to relieve the symptoms of poor circulation. If you are concerned about angiosarcoma, your vein doctor can help.
How Do You Get Vein Cancer?
Risk factors for vein cancer include:
- Adulthood (does not commonly occur in children)
- Prior cancer treatment (radiation)
- Radiation exposure (environmental or workplace)
- Exposure to known cancer-causing chemicals like arsenic (naturally occurs in the environment in some areas, can contaminate well water and soil), thorium dioxide (used in nuclear, industrial and manufacturing applications, such as ceramic glazes and incandescent lamp filaments), and vinyl chloride (used in production of PVC plastic and more).
What Are the Telltale Signs of Vein Cancer?
What does vein cancer look like or feel like? Symptoms may include:
- Non-healing skin rash, bruise or wound (this is more likely to be caused by varicose veins or poor circulation, rather than cancer–and may respond to vein treatment at your Tampa vein clinic.)
- Reddish-purple area of skin.
- Visible or palpable (able to be felt when touched) soft lump.
- Deep tissue tumors, occurring in blood vessels of soft tissues well below the skin, have no symptoms until cancer spreads to nearby vital organs.
- Lymphedema (swelling of arm or leg due to poor lymphatic drainage–often a side effect of cancer treatment).
Vein Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment
Angiosarcoma can be initially diagnosed and investigated by ruling our other vein problems with a visit to your vein clinic. Vein cancer can sometimes be suspected during a physical examination, and then imaging would likely be ordered, such as MRI, and the condition confirmed with a biopsy. Only when and if the suspicious area is biopsied (a small sample is sent to a lab) and examined by a pathologist, can cancer be confirmed. This type of cancer can respond to chemotherapy and/or radiation treatment if caught early.
Get Expert Vein Treatment in Tampa Bay
If you have signs of vein disease or are concerned about varicose veins, blood clots, or circulation problems, your vascular surgeon can treat these issues. If you are concerned about vein cancer, a regular checkup with your vein doctor helps us keep an eye on your overall vein health, throughout your life. This helps us to discover (or rule out) any vein disease, as early as possible. Contact our vein doctors in Tampa at Vein 911 today.