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How I treat cancer-associated venous thromboembolism

Noémie Kraaijpoel and Marc Carrier

Abstract

Venous thromboembolism, which includes deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, is a common complication of cancer and is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Several cancer-related risk factors contribute to the development of venous thromboembolism including cancer type/stage, chemotherapy, surgery, and patient-related factors such as advanced age and immobilization. Patients with cancer frequently undergo diagnostic imaging scans for cancer staging and treatment response evaluation, which is increasing the underlying risk of venous thromboembolism detection. The management of cancer-associated venous thromboembolism is challenging. Over the years, important advances have been made and recently, randomized controlled trials have been published helping clinicians' managements of this patient population. In this review, we will discuss common cancer-associated venous thromboembolism scenarios and critically review available evidence to guide treatment decisions.

  • Submitted August 8, 2018.
  • Accepted November 18, 2018.