Ten Things You Didn't Know About Blood Clots and Cancer
By Elizabeth Varga, MS; Chair - Education Committee, NBCA
Each year in the US, approximately 1 in 200 cancer patients develop
About 10-15% of all patients with VTE have cancer.
Blood clots are the second leading cause of death in cancer patients
(infection is the leading cause).
Cancer patients who develop a blood clot have a higher chance
of dying. Over 94% of people admitted to the hospital with cancer and
VTE will die within 6 months, compared to 40% of people admitted to the
hospital with cancer alone.
Approximately 1 in 7 hospitalized cancer patients who die, die from
40%-80% of cancer patients who have surgery will develop a DVT and
4-10% will develop PE without
Once a cancer patient develops a first episode of VTE, he or
she has 3 times the risk of developing a second clot as compared to
All cancer patients should be aware of the signs and symptoms
of DVT and PE.
All cancer patients should discuss their risk of VTE and
whether they would benefit from preventive treatment with their doctors.
Blood clots in cancer patients can often be prevented with
appropriate preventive treatment.
Lee AY and Levine MN. Circulation. 2003;
107:I-17-I-21. The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent Deep Vein
Thrombosis and Pulmonary Embolism, 2008. Elting L. Arch Intern Med 204;
164:1653-1661.Pradoni P, et al. Ann Intern Med. 1996; 125:1-7.
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