South Florida Vascular Associates South Florida Vascular Associates

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Cancer Patients at Higher Risk of Developing Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

It is well known within the medical community that cancer patients have an increased risk of developing deep-vein thrombosis -- blood clots that develop in deep veins in the lower extremities. Did you know that more than 90 percent of patients with cancer may be at risk for DVT?  According to the Coalition to Prevent DVT, a majority of cancer patients were not aware of the increased risk for DVT and its potentially fatal complication, pulmonary embolism. In fact, complications from deep vein thrombosis are the second leading cause of death among cancer patients.
 If you or a loved one have cancer, it is most important to discuss your potential risk of deep vein thrombosis with your healthcare provider because blood clots can be prevented.
Cancer may put you at an increased risk for blood clots because:
•    Surgery or chemotherapy may injure blood vessel walls, causing the blood to clot
•    Certain types of cancer treatments may reduce the body’s ability to produce blood clotting agents called anticoagulants
Complications from DVT blood clots kill up to 600,000 people in the U.S. each year — more than AIDS and breast cancer combined.
If you have pain and swelling in your lower extremities, be sure to seek medical attention as soon as possible

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