Risk of Cancer Triples Following Blood Clot in Leg

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Jens Sundbøll
Department of Clinical Epidemiology
Aarhus University Hospital
Aarhus, Denmark

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The incidence of acute peripheral arterial occlusion is approximately 1.5 cases per 10,000 person-years. In comparison, the incidence rate of deep venous thrombosis is about 5-10cases per 10,000 person-years. It has been established previously that deep venous thrombosis in the lower limb and pulmonary embolism may be presenting symptoms of cancer and is associated with a poor cancer prognosis. However, whether arterial thromboembolism of the lower limb also can represent prodromal symptoms of occult cancer and worsen cancer prognosis has never been investigated.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: The risk of developing cancer is more than 3 times higher during the first 6 months following acute thrombosis (blood clot) in the leg. It is well known that early treatment is crucial for the prognosis of many types of cancer, and our findings show that an arterial thrombosis in the leg is associated with an increased risk of cancer to the same degree as a deep venous thrombosis – both absolutely and relatively speaking. This is an important finding, which clinicians should integrate into their deliberations. Hospitalisation for an arterial thrombosis in the leg is an obvious opportunity to carry out an opportunistic screening for cancer, which I believe should be considered, just as for patients presenting with a deep venous thrombosis.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work? 

Response: It would be reassuring to repeat this study in other populations around the world to confirm the finding and strength of the association.

No disclosures 

Citations:

Risk and Prognosis of Cancer After Lower Limb Arterial Thrombosis
Jens Sundbøll, Katalin Veres, Erzsébet Horváth-Puhó, Kasper Adelborg, Henrik Toft Sørensen

https://doi.org/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.117.032617
Circulation. 2018;CIRCULATIONAHA.117.032617
Originally published March 14, 2018

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