Blood clots

Cancer can increase your chances of getting a blood clot. Some treatments also increase the risk such as chemotherapy.

When you have cancer and a blood clot, it’s called ‘Cancer-Associated Thrombosis’ – or CAT for short.

You may be offered medication to prevent blood clots
and thin the blood. Clots can occur anywhere in the body. It is likely that the affected
area will cause you pain. You can also reduce the chances of a blood clot by taking
regular short walks, drinking lots of water and doing chair or bed exercises (marching,
shoulder rolls etc). A physiotherapist may be able to advise on some exercise to suit you
depending on your activity levels.

In the video above and on the page below is some information about blood clots in cancer, what to watch out for, and how to avoid them.

Signs of clots

It is important to be aware of potential signs of clots.

Signs you may have a blood clot in your leg (DVT) include

  • Tenderness in the leg
  • Redness
  • Swelling and a feeling of tightness, the skin may feel stretched
  • Pain in the leg (usually in the calf)
  • Warmth and redness of the skin (particularly at the back of the leg, below the knee)

Or for a clot in your lungs (or PE)

  • Light-headedness or feeling faint
  • Unexplained shortness of breath
  • Chest pain (particularly when breathing deeply)
  • Coughing up blood
  • Sweating

If you are concerned about clots, contact a member of your medical team immediately.