Cancer and VTE
VTE is the second cause of death in patients with cancer. And prevalence cancer-VTE is higher and more serious than the one cancer-stroke or cancer-infarction
Blood coagulation is activated in cancer patients, which causes the blood to become thicker and increases the risk of clotting.
Chemotherapy and radiation therapy may also lead to thrombosis.
In addition, cancer patients often spend full days in bed, catheters are inserted in their veins or they undergo surgery, and all these situations are also risk factors of VTE.
On the other hand, breast tumors are less common.
In general, the disease appears more easily in advanced neoplastic stages, but sometimes the VTE can be the first and only symptom of a tumor that has not yet been detected.
- Cancer worsens the evolution of VTE
- The cancer patients have more relapses, bleed more and die with greater frequency that patients suffering DVT without cancer
- The prevalence of cancer and VTE is higher and more severe than the combination of cancer-ictus and cancer-myocardial infarct
- 1 in 10 patients with cancer who died of a pulmonary embolism are younger than 50 years old and 1 in 5 has no metastasis
Unlike what happens in the majority of patients suffering VTE, the treatment of DVT and PE in patients with cancer is preferably performed with low molecular weight heparin. This treatment must be taken for at least three to six months. For those patients who have advanced cancer, with metastasis, sometimes the treatment must be continued indefinitely.
If the risk of suffering a thrombosis or a PE or severe bleeding is minimum for patients without cancer, in patients with cancer this risk doubles.
Sometimes there are problems because it is difficult to find the right dose of anticoagulantsthat minimize the risk of thrombosis (or embolism) for each patient, without causing thereafter a hemorrhage.
Recurrences, bleeding and catheters
Lung and pancreas tumors are the ones associated with a greater risk of relapses despite the treatment. Prostate, ovaries, colon and stomach tumors are the ones most associated with bleeding.
In patients with cancer, DVT can also appear in the arms, whether it is related or not with the existence of venous central catheters used for the administration of chemotherapy. The treatment in these cases is the same.
The catheter does not have to be removed if it continues working, however the anticoagulant therapy should be continued as long as the implanted catheter is in place.
CALCULATE WHAT KIND OF CANCERS ARE MOST FREQUENT IN PATIENTS WITH VTE
Localization of the tumor and the presence or absence of metastasis play an important role in the relationship cancer-VTE. In this graph, with real-time data from the RIETE Registry, you can calculate the risk of VTE according to the type of cancer in the presence of metastasis