Last Friday on my internet radio show, Navigating the Cancer Maze I interviewed a Gold Coast Vascular Surgeon because I was interested to get the latest information on how Cancer patients can manage the issue of DVT, embolisms and other blood clotting issues. I have known Dr John for some time and thankfully he had alerted me to the issues of DVT when I had been a patient undergoing repeated and long surgical procedures. His advice was invaluable.
As far as cancer patients are concerned; this is a serious matter and more education is needed – especially interms of safe air travel and also whether a cancer patient or not – for any of us sitting immobile for long periods of time can be a problem. Dr John provides us with great advice – simple preventive measures for avoiding vascular problems.
Cancer patients have a dramatically increased risk of strokes, heart attacks and dangerous blood clots in the lungs (pulmonary embolism) and in the legs (deep vein thrombosis). Did you know that – a cancer patient has 7 times the risk of developing a blood clot.
It is not all doom and gloom – but knowing this fact empowers us to to be proactive, seek good advice and or if we detect or suspect an issue – you may save your life by early intervention.
In this interview with Dr John you will learn about the vascular system and lifestyle issues that can cause a stroke. You will learn about tests and scans you should have to check out veins and arteries, things you can take to offset clotting affects – issues that MUST be discussed with your doctor or oncologist. Basically Clotting risk should be assessed in all patients with cancer. Whenever you are hospitalised, if you are a cancer patient……ask about treatment to prevent DVT or PE both in hospital and at home.
In hospital, you may be given heparin or low molecular weight heparin. Compression stockings…getting you mobile ASAP is a good intervention.However – Patients should be aware of signs and symptoms of DVT/PE – and if you suspect an issue – DONT DELAY GETTING ATTENTION…
I have had many patients who have ignored advice regarding anticlotting medications before during and after air-travel. Patients have returned from cancer treatments overseas not following the advice and have lost their lives to DVT and pulmonary embolisms or stroke. Quite a number of them had significant reduction in their cancer – but died due to their likely preventable vascular events. Fitted pressure stockings will help and in the interview Dr John gives us a powerful tool for clearing the large muscles of the calf when we travel or if we are immobile for a long period – particularly if there is pressure to the back of the calf muscle. Continue reading “Navigating the Vascular Maze in Cancer Patients-a Silent and Potentially deadly issue – Grace Gawler”