113 - Venous thromboembolism and cancer

Autor(s): P. Prandoni

Issue: RIMeL - IJLaM, Vol. 5, N. 2, 2009 (MAF Servizi srl ed.)

Page(s): 113-118

Venous thromboembolism is a common occurrence in patients with cancer. Among risk factors for throm boembolism are prolonged immobilization, especially during hospital stay, surgery, and chemotherapy with or without adjuvant hormone therapy. Although prophylaxis and treatment of thromboembolism in cancer patients encompass those agents that are com monly utilised in patients free from malignancy, there are many unique issues in cancer patients that often make their use more problematic. Low-molecular-weight heparins are the cornerstone of prophylaxis and treat ment of venous thromboembolism in cancer patients. Furthermore, they have the potential to prolong pa tients survival, at least in those with more favourable prognosis. Approximately 10% of patients with idiopathic venous thromboembolism harbour an underlying malignancy that can be detected by an extensive diagnostic work-up. However, whether screening for occult malignancies ultimately improves prognosis and prolongs survival remains to be demonstrated.

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