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Oncologists Often Unaware of Thrombotic Effects of Cancer


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Also when on a blood thinner, make sure you are monitored closely

Oncologists Often Unaware of Thrombotic Effects of Cancer Therapy

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) Sept 11 - New study findings indicate that more than one quarter of oncologists are unaware of the thrombotic effects of cancer therapy and that thromboprophylaxis is seldom used in treated patients.

The findings, which are published in the September 13th issue of the British Medical Journal, are based on a survey of 106 oncologists practicing in northern England.

Previous studies have shown that the risk of venous thromboembolism in increased in cancer patients; and the risk is further increased in those receiving treatment, the authors report. For example, women with node-negative breast cancer treated with tamoxifen have a six-fold risk of thromboembolism. Rates are as high as 17.6% in women with metastatic disease treated with chemotherapy.

In the current study, chemotherapy was the main method of treatment reported by 39% of oncologists, hormone therapy for 9%, and radiotherapy for 42%, according to study author Dr. G. J. Byrne and colleagues, from Wythenshawe Hospital in Manchester. Most of the oncologists treated a variety of tumor types.

Twenty-nine (27.4%) of the oncologists believed their patients were not at risk for venous thromboembolism--a finding that was not influenced by the type of tumor treated. The number of respondents who thought cancer therapy posed little thrombotic risk ranged from 71 for hormone therapy to 96 for radiotherapy.

Eighty-four physicians did not routinely use thromboprophylaxis during chemotherapy. The corresponding numbers were slightly higher (86) and lower (79) for radiotherapy and hormone therapy, respectively.

The most common reason for initiating prophylaxis was a history of thrombotic problems, followed by immobility thrombophilia. Nineteen oncologists reported never using thromboprophylaxis.

More than 60% of respondents estimated that less than 5% of their patients were currently receiving thromboprophylaxis, the authors state.

Based on the current findings, the researchers suggest that "national guidelines on prophylaxis for venous thromboembolism during cancer treatment are needed."

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Donna's right as usual. Blood clots basically. You see alot of posts on here about people being put on blood thinners. I have read a few articles that low molecular weight herapin (blood thinner) may improve survivial. It is given by injection which and is more expensive than warfarin (coumadin)

The other important thing is that if one is on a blood thinner, that the platlet count and other tests be done, so the blood doesn't become too thing - then hemorages can occur.

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