Thrombosis and tumor treatment
In addition to infections and bleedings, thromboembolic events belong to the most common and life-limiting complications in patients with malignant tumors. Around 15% of cancer patients in the course of their disease develop symptoms of thrombosis, whereas the rate of undetected thrombosis is significantly higher if appropriate screening methods are applied. In addition, drugs used to treat thrombosis in cancer patients often are less effective and thus the risk of recurrent thrombosis is very high. The risk of thrombosis is particularly high during tumor treatment. Extended surgery but also most substances used for chemotherapy, including hormones or antibody treatment are associated with the highest rate of thrombotic complications in the course of malignant diseases.
In women with gynecological cancers or breast cancer 90 % of all diagnosed thrombosis occur during the initial treatment of the tumor. Approximately one third of patients with ovarian malignancy develop thrombosis in the first half year of cancer disease after surgery and during standard chemotherapy. Recent statistics on cancer related deaths, show fatal thrombosis, embolism and pulmonary embolisms in particular are leading causes of death in many tumor types.
Monitoring of individual risk of thrombosis over the course of the tumor’s existence and during treatment may prolong life and significantly improve quality of life. Women with a history of unprovoked or acute thrombosis may not be suitable to obtain hormone-dependent tumor treatment. During chemotherapy thrombosis prophylaxis may need to be adapted in terms of dosage or type anticoagulant in use, since not all anticoagulant drugs are effective to treat cancer induced thrombosis or to prevent recurrent thrombosis in cancer patients.