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Prostate Cancer Patients at Higher Risk of Blood Clots
Date:4/14/2010

Dangers were greatest for those on hormone therapy, study found

WEDNESDAY, April 14 (HealthDay News) -- Men with prostate cancer are at greater risk for developing blood clots, especially if they're undergoing hormone therapy, new research shows.

"Our findings indicate that it is important to consider thromboembolic [blood-clotting] side effects when treating patients with prostate cancer, especially those who require endocrine treatment," said Mieke van Hemelrijck, lead author of a study in the April 13 online issue of The Lancet Oncology.

Still, the findings shouldn't change the way men with this type of tumor are treated, just perhaps the way they are monitored, van Hemelrijck added.

"Endocrine treatment is currently the cornerstone of therapy for men with locally advanced or metastatic disease. It is thus not possible to change the treatment, but doctors can be more aware of the risk of thromboembolic diseases and check for certain symptoms when following up their patients," said van Hemelrijck, who is a doctoral candidate at Kings College London.

And the findings do give an extra round of reassurance that this is indeed a risk, another expert noted.

"We have known for decades that cancer patients have a greater risk of blood clots, [but] it hasn't been as well-defined in the prostate cancer population," said Dr. Steven Clinton, director of prostate and genitourinary oncology at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute in Columbus. "For the first time, this puts some numbers on the risk in that population. It's an enormous study, and it does give us some numbers to work with."

According to background information in the study, cancer patients in general have about a fourfold greater risk of developing blood clots than people who are cancer-free.

Advancing age and other treatments for cancer, includi
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