New guidance issued on treating blood clots in cancer patients

Cancer patients are nine times more likely to develop blood clots than non-cancer patients. That finding is what prompted the National Comprehensive Cancer Network to revise treatment guidelines for oncologists, according to a Sept. 7 news release.

According to the newly published guidelines, while cancer in general increases a patient's risk for developing blood clots, there are 13 specific cancers known to put individuals at an even greater risk of developing blood clots including: acute leukemia, bladder cancer, brain cancer, kidney cancer, lymphoma, lung cancer, multiple myeloma, myeloproliferative neoplasms, ovarian cancer, pancreatic cancer, stomach cancer, testicular cancer and uterine cancer. 

For treating blood clots in cancer patients, the guide notes that "as a treatment, anticoagulants produce good results and are safe for many people with cancer," but that for higher-risk situations, blood clots can also be treated with a removable filter. 

We don’t talk about blood clots enough in oncology, but we're getting better," said Michael B. Streiff, MD, the chair of the NCCN Guidelines Panel for Cancer-Associated Venous Thromboembolic Disease, stated in the news release. "Not only do tumors put people at risk for blood clots, but cancer treatments can also put people at risk. These patient guidelines will educate patients and caregivers about what we can do to prevent clotting, how to recognize the symptoms, and what treatments are available if they experience pulmonary embolism or deep-vein thrombosis."

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