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Blood clots a risk in lung cancer treatment

According to an article on, the risk of developing a blood clot is a real but often overlooked factor in lung cancer treatment.

The report says that between 3 percent and 15 percent of people with lung cancer develop blood clots during their treatment. Clots are more common in those with non-small cell lung cancer than with small cell lung cancer, and people with adenocarcinoma appear to be at the greatest risk.

Other factors that increase risk include having an advanced stage of lung cancer, or receiving chemotherapy. About 7 percent of people who have lung cancer surgery will develop blood clots.

The article lists some conditions that increase the risk of blood clots, including:

  • Surgery
  • Inactivity or prolonged bed rest
  • Other lung diseases such as COPD
  • Smoking
  • Travel – Extended travel by car or plane increases the risk of blood clots. This can be a concern for those who need to travel long distances for treatment

Use of birth control pills is also a risk factor for developing blood clots, as is pregnancy. But a number of studies show that pills containing the synthetic hormone drospirenone increase that risk up to three times compared to other oral contraceptives on the market. Pills with drospirenone include Yasmin, Yaz, Beyaz and Ocella.

The article says it’s very important to be on the lookout for blood clots, which can lower survival from lung cancer. It cites one study that patients with non-small cell lung cancer had a 1.7-fold increased risk of dying if they had a deep vein thombosis, or a major clot in one of the leg veins.

The most serious complication of blood clots is that they will break off and travel to the lungs, a potentially deadly condition known as pulmonary embolism.

Even when clots do not break loose, sufferers can develop chronic leg pain in the future if they are not treated, a condition known as post-thrombotic syndrome. Your doctor will check your legs when you are hospitalized, especially after surgery, but the peak incidence of clots following surgery is 7 days afterward — a time when many people may be back home recovering.

Patients should consult their doctors before making any changes in their medication. A consultation with a Beyaz lawyer is also important if there are significant injuries while on Beyaz or similar birth control pills.

See the article here: