Risk Factors for Blood Clots with Cancer

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If you have been diagnosed with cancer, it is important to understand your risk for blood clots. Review the risk factors below and discuss this list with your cancer doctor.

Type and stage of cancer

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  • The risk of a blood clot is greater in the first few months after a cancer diagnosis, the time when treatment generally occurs.
  • Some cancers pose a greater risk for blood clots, including cancers involving the pancreas, stomach, brain, lungs, uterus, ovaries, and kidneys, as well as blood cancers, such as lymphoma and myeloma.
  • The higher your cancer stage, the greater your risk for a blood clot.

Type of cancer treatment

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  • The specific type of cancer treatment you receive can increase your risk for blood clots.
  • Treatments involving hospitalization, surgery, chemotherapy, treatment with hormones, and catheters (small tubes placed in veins to administer various treatments) can increase your risk for blood clots.

Other risk factors

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  • 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

To learn more about blood clots, visit www.stoptheclot.org/spreadtheword.