Cancer patients: Higher risk of blood clot

March 12, 2012 at 9:54 PM
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NEW YORK, March 12 (UPI) -- Patients with cancer have an increased risk of deep-vein thrombosis -- blood clots -- but only 16 percent knew of the risk, a U.S. survey indicated.

A survey by the Coalition to Prevent DVT found nearly 70 percent of survey respondents had heard of DVT -- and its potentially fatal complication, pulmonary embolism -- prior to taking the survey. Fewer than 1-in-3 respondents have had a discussion about DVT blood clots with a healthcare professional.

Seventy-three percent said they were not informed by their healthcare provider of their increased risk of developing DVT if they have cancer.

Eighty-six percent of respondents -- including people currently being treated for cancer and those in remission -- had neither heard of nor read anything about DVT blood clots in connection with cancer and its treatment, the survey said.

Only 20 percent of respondents who had heard of DVT tried to find information about signs and symptoms on their own since their cancer diagnoses.

"The coalition has long been an advocate for people being aware of their risk factors, which may include lifestyle risk factors -- being age 40 or older, being overweight or a smoker -- or medical risk factors like hospitalization or having cancer, heart disease or respiratory conditions," Melanie Bloom, coalition spokeswoman whose husband, NBC news correspondent David Bloom, died nine years ago from DVT-related complications while covering the war in Iraq.

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