Cancer and Blood Clots – Fast Facts

  • Each year in the US, approximately 1 in 200 cancer patients develop a VTE.
  •  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 pulmonary embolism.
  • 40%-80% of cancer patients who have surgery will develop a DVT and 4-10% will develop PE without
    preventive treatment.
  •  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 non-cancer patients.
  •  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.

Sources:

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.

Current News

Bleeding Risk Survey

Majority (55 Percent) of Americans Taking Blood Thinners Indicate They Fear Suffering From Major Bleeding; 73 Percent More Cautious With…
Elderly man at computer

Understanding and Managing the Potential Bleeding Risk of Blood Thinner Medications

Each year, millions of people in the United States will take an anticoagulant or blood thinner medication. Blood thinner medications…