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If you are being treated for cancer, you are at risk for developing blood clots.

One in five experience a blood clot

Blood clots affect 900,000 people a year.

1 in 5 blood clots are due to cancer and some of its treatments.

If you have been diagnosed with cancer, getting well is your top priority.
As you take steps to protect your health, make blood clot awareness part of your care plan so that you can safeguard your health during cancer treatment.

Work with Your Healthcare Team to Understand Your Risk
and Recognize the Signs and Symptoms of Blood Clots

Cancer can be a difficult diagnosis, with many new and overwhelming things to learn about and manage.
Your top priority is to get healthy.

One important step to take is to understand your risk for dangerous blood clots, because cancer and some of its treatments can increase your risk for blood clots. Talk with your healthcare team about your risk for blood clots. Make sure your cancer doctor and healthcare team know about your personal and family history of blood clots.

It is most important that you recognize the symptoms of blood clots and contact your cancer doctor if you experience any of them. Work with your healthcare team and make a blood clot prevention plan specific to your medical history and treatment.

A plan to prevent blood clots can help protect the most important thing – your health – during cancer treatment.

Get the Facts

1 in 5 map

Blood clots affect 900,000 people in the United States every year,
and 1 in 5 blood clots are due to cancer and some of its treatments.

RibbonBlood clots are a leading cause of death among people with cancer.

RibbonBlood clots are treatable. Early diagnosis and treatment can reduce complications of blood clots, including death.

RibbonThe risk of a dangerous blood clot is greatest in the first few months after cancer is diagnosed.

RibbonAmong people with cancer, survival rates are lower for people who also have blood clots.

Click on the image to view and share an infographic about the risk for blood clots connected to cancer and its treatment.

Oncology Infographic

Watch this short video to learn how cancer and some of its treatments can put you at risk for a life-threatening blood clot.

Understanding Blood Clots

Understanding blood clots

Recognize the Signs and Symptoms of Blood Clots

Contact your cancer doctor if you experience any of these signs or symptoms of a blood clot.

Signs and symptoms of a blood clot in a person’s leg or arm (also called a DVT) may include the following:

Swelling

Swelling

Pain tenderness

Pain or tenderness not caused by injury

Warm skin

Skin that is warm to the touch

Redness

Redness or discoloration of the skin

Seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of these signs or symptoms of a blood clot.

Signs and symptoms of a blood clot in a person’s lung (also called a PE) may include the following:

Difficulty breathing

Difficulty breathing

Chest pain

Chest pain that worsens with a deep breath or cough

Coughing blood

Coughing up blood

Faster heart

Faster than normal or irregular heartbeat

Know the risk factors for blood clots.

If you have been diagnosed with cancer, it is important to understand your risk for blood clots.

Type of cancer

Type and stage of cancer

  • The risk of a blood clot is greatest in the first few months after cancer is diagnosed.
  • Some cancers pose a greater risk for blood clots, including cancers involving the pancreas, stomach, brain, lung, uterus, ovaries and kidneys, as well as blood cancers such as lymphoma and myeloma.
  • The higher your stage of cancer, the greater your risk for a blood clot.
Cancer Treatment

Type of cancer treatment

  • The type of cancer treatment you receive may increase your risk for blood clots.
  • Treatments involving hospitalization, surgery, chemotherapy, treatment with hormones, and catheters (thin tubes placed in your veins for administering various treatments) can increase your risk for blood clots.
Personal risk factors

Risk factors

  • Previous blood clot
  • Family history of blood clots or inherited clotting disorder
  • Hospitalization for illness or major surgery, particularly of the pelvis, abdomen, hip, or knee
  • Broken bone or severe muscle injury
  • Severe physical trauma, such as a motor vehicle accident
  • Serious medical conditions, such as heart and lung diseases, or diabetes
  • Sitting too long, such as traveling for more than 4 hours, especially with legs crossed
  • Other causes of immobility, such as extended bedrest
  • Overweight and obesity
  • Smoking

Know the Risk Factors for Blood Clots

Click on the image below to view and download a list of risk factors that can help you and your cancer doctor determine your blood clot risk.

Talk to your healthcare team and make a plan to prevent blood clots

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Know the signs, symptoms, and risk factors for blood clots and discuss these risks with your cancer doctor.

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When you are at home recovering from surgery, or if you are receiving treatment in an outpatient clinic, stay alert for any signs or symptoms of blood clots. Contact your cancer doctor right away if you experience any blood clot symptoms.

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Work with your healthcare team to make a prevention plan.

 

Stop the Clot, Spread the Word®

The National Blood Clot Alliance and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are working on this important public health campaign to get the word out about blood clot risks and the signs and symptoms of blood clots.

You can be an important part of this education campaign by helping us

SPREAD THE WORD®

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The information and materials on this site are provided for general information purposes only. You should not rely on the information provided as a substitute for actual professional medical advice, care, or treatment. This site is not designed to and does not provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion, treatment, or services to you or any individual. If you believe you have a medical emergency, call 911 immediately.

Stop the Clot, Spread the Word® is a public education campaign made possible by funding provided to the National Blood Clot Alliance by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under Cooperative Agreement number 1U27DD001153-05.

National Blood Clot Alliance and CDC logos

The mark ‘CDC’ is owned by the US Department of Health and Human Services and is used with permission. Use of this logo is not an endorsement by HHS or CDC of any particular product, service, or enterprise.