Pulmonary Embolism and Cancer: PE

One of the big problems with cancer is clots in the blood vessels of the lungs. It is a significant cause of death in cancer patients. Most people do not really know or understand the condition.

Cancer is a condition which makes blood stickier. If you combine this with the fact that the patient is not very mobile, not drinking enough of fluid, is on chemotherapy via intravenous access device, is on medications which could affect blood clotting… it is a fairly strong combination for clot formation.

People can develop clots in their legs, which then break off and shower small clots in the blood vessels of the lungs. A large blood clot in the lung vessels can potentially kill the patient.

The treatment is making the blood thinner with medications – heparin, heparin like drugs (Clexane, Fragmin), Apixaban or warfarin.

The important issue being awareness of the condition. Sudden shortness of breath, cough, sharp chest pain, etc are some of the main symptoms.

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Rohit Joshi

I am a doctor who helps people deal with cancer with diagnosis and management of the illness (chemotherapy, biological agents, immunotherapy and hormonal agents).

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