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lung cancer bood clots found need help


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my mother 54 was diagnosed with lung cancer in april ..in july while being prep for surgery they found a cancer tumor in her heart as well...she has had a round of radiation which releived pain and symptoms and shrunk the tumors...in september they found a tumor in her adrenal gland and her right lung ...all and all she has been doing very well...no chemotherapy not an option...this week we had to admit my mom for pain which came on suddenly they state that the tumor in her adrenal gland has grown quite a bit and has caused clots in her blood ...they started her on heperin but found that it thined her blood way to much she is now on coagulants...tryng to set things up to take my mom home but am really wondering about these clots are they serious none where found in her lungs...doctors keep talking about pain control since she is stage 4 but I need to know how serious are the clots can anyone help?

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Welcome. Blood clots happen with lung cancer. They are serious. If they travel they can go to your lungs or to your brain causing a stroke. Hope they are able to regulate the amount of Heparin she is getting. Usually they do blood test called PTT once if not several times a day and make ajustments to the Heparin rate. Is she in a lot of pain? Things can be done. Let us know how it is going. Donna G

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hey there. god, these clots are scary stuff, aren't they!? but they are serious. very. when my mom had one over the summer, the doc explained that some clots, if big enough, are immediately fatal. my mom received an IVC filter at one point (thank you, Fay, for giving me the heads up about this!). my mom has had a terrible time with both tinzaparin (over the summer) and coumadin (just this past week!) but all the docs agree that, ultimately, some manner of thinner is necessary with cancer + a history of clots. even if it's just aspirin. supposedly, "low molecular weight heparin" is easier to manage than coumadin.

it's a very hard balancing act - risk of clots, versus risks associated with the medicines. we're smack in the middle of it, too, so I can't really give you an 'answer'. ask the experts, keep the dialogue open with your mom's docs and, above all, see where her risk tolerance lies. she's the one that has to live with it, right?

good luck, and do keep us posted.



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Welcome to the site! Clots are very serious. Coumadin usually works very well to keep clots from forming once the proper levels are reached and certain foods are avoided, e.g. greens, which contain high amounts of Vitamin K (a nature blood thinner). Hopefully, taking Coumadin pills will be all she needs. There are other options if absolutely necessary, but they have risks.

Charlie has been on Innohep (low molecular weight heparin) for most of the last 2 years. He gives himself a daily injection similar to diabetics giving insulin. It has kept him from having any additional clots. He clotted right through the coumadin even at the proper level.

One of the first clots he had in Feb. 2004, was very painful and resulted in some permanent damage to his leg. Other than that, the clots have been pretty inconsequential. It is important that she be closely monitored to get the levels right. Take care.

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My understanding is that blood clots and lung cancer go hand in hand.

I've been giving myself Lovenox shots every day for over 3 years, my D-dimmer numbers are very high (an indication that clots are likely in my system)so I have the pleasure of sticking a needle in my belly daily.

Oral anti-coagulants aren't in the cards as my thoracic onc is a firm believer in the research that shows longer survival in sclc patients using Lovenox.

The hematologist/oncologist that I've seen (he has researched this for 35 years) stresses that I should avoid extra iron - as in a multi-vitamin etc.

Please don't take a clot lightly, I had one years ago (courtesy of the pill) and it shouldn't be ignored.

Take care


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Are you sure it is herapin and not coumadin she is taking? Does she take a pill or get shots?

The level of "clotting" is harder to control with coumadin, because as people mentioned diet affects the blood. Foods high in vitamin K have to be limited

Also there is low molecular weight herapin (LMWH) and unfractionated herapin (UFH) .

One study showed that LMWH has less chance of "thinning" the blood too much, so maybe she is getting UFH.

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There is a condition called herapin-induced thrombocytopenia. This may have happened to your mom. In some cases herapin can cause problems.

It occurs in 5% of patients receiving bovine herapin and 1% of patients receiving porcine (pig)

The herapin will likely be discontinued and another anti-coagulant might be tried (lepirudan).

This condition can be serious so it may be necessary to have her at a hospital. There are two types of HIT (type I and type II). Type II I think is more serious than type I

I am not a Dr. - I would post on "Ask the Experts" and Dr Cunningham usually replies pretty fast.

I hope she recovers well

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