Blood Clot Risk among People with Cancer


Stop the Clot, Spread the Word® Campaign Urges Cancer Patients to Recognize Blood Clot Signs and Symptoms

GAITHERSBURG, Md., Oct. 02, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The National Blood Clot Alliance (NBCA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are rolling out a new suite of resources from their Stop the Clot, Spread the Word® campaign, with an important focus on the increased risk for dangerous blood clots among people who have cancer.

Up to 900,000 people are affected by blood clots in the United States each year. While anyone can develop blood clots, about 20 percent, or one in five of these clots occur among people with cancer. Blood clots are a leading cause of death among people with cancer.

"Blood clot prevention is part of the life-changing journey of surviving cancer – before, during, and after treatment,” said Craig Hooper, PhD, Director of CDC's Division of Blood Disorders in the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities. “It is important that patients, caregivers, and their medical team discuss blood clot prevention as part of one’s treatment plan. Knowledge leads to early diagnosis and treatment that can be lifesaving.”

The newest resources from the Stop the Clot, Spread the Word® campaign encourage people diagnosed with cancer to recognize that they are at increased risk for blood clots. The resources place emphasis on patient recognition of the signs and symptoms of blood clots and the importance of early diagnosis and treatment.

“Survival is lower among people with cancer who experience a blood clot than it is among people with cancer who do not have blood clots. This is why it’s so important for these patients to be vigilant and let their cancer doctor know right away if they experience any blood clot symptoms, says Alok Khorana, MD, Professor of Medicine, Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, and Director of the Gastrointestinal Malignancies Program at the Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio. “It’s tragic when a patient is mounting a successful fight against cancer and then loses life due to a blood clot.”

According to Dr. Khorana, who also is a member of NBCA’s Medical & Scientific Advisory Board, blood clots that form in the legs can travel to the lung, which can be deadly. The symptoms of blood clots in the legs include pain, swelling, tenderness, and redness or discoloration of the skin. Symptoms of blood clots in the lungs include shortness of breath, sharp chest pain that worsens with a deep breath, and coughing up blood. Prevention, early diagnosis, and treatment are lifesaving measures.

This campaign and partnership between NBCA and CDC was established in 2014, when CDC awarded NBCA funding through a 5-year cooperative agreement. The campaign is designed to share patient-centered educational tools about blood clot risks, signs, and symptoms with people who are at highest risk for blood clots; including hospitalized patients, pregnant women, and people affected by cancer. Campaign materials for each patient group are housed on the Stop the Clot, Spread the Word® website, and include infographics, patient education videos, and downloadable checklists that people can use to discuss with their families and healthcare providers.

NBCA is a nonprofit, voluntary health organization dedicated to advancing the prevention, early diagnosis and successful treatment of life-threatening blood clots, such as deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, and clot-provoked stroke. NBCA accomplishes its mission through programs that build public awareness, educate patients and healthcare professionals, and promote supportive public and private sector policy.

Please visit for more information about blood clots.

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