Cancer-associated thrombosis: An overview of mechanisms, risk factors, and treatment
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Cancer-associated thrombosis is a major cause of mortality in cancer patients, the most common type being venous thromboembolism (VTE). Several risk factors for developing VTE also coexist with cancer patients, such as chemotherapy and immobilisation, contributing to the increased risk cancer patients have of developing VTE compared with non-cancer patients. Cancer cells are capable of activating the coagulation cascade and other prothrombotic properties of host cells, and many anticancer treatments themselves are being described as additional mechanisms for promoting VTE. This review will give an overview of the main thrombotic complications in cancer patients and outline the risk factors for cancer patients developing cancer-associated thrombosis, focusing on VTE as it is the most common complication observed in cancer patients. The multiple mechanisms involved in cancer-associated thrombosis, including the role of anticancer drugs, and a brief outline of the current treatment for cancer-associated thrombosis will also be discussed.
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