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Warning signs of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and Pulmonary Embolism (PE)

Man holding his leg in pain

Discovering early can help you take action fast, and get back to focusing on what matters.

With your primary disease in focus, it can be easy to mistake symptoms of deep vein () or pulmonary embolism () with side effects of your surgery or cancer treatment. However, just knowing warning signs can give you peace of mind and help you recognise them early.
can become more serious or life threatening if part of it breaks loose and travels to the lungs. That’s why it’s extremely important to treat it early. is most likely to occur in the first few months of a cancer diagnosis1.

How obvious are the signs of ?

The signs of are not always that obvious. With the focus rightfully on treating cancer, rarely comes up in appointments. That means many cancer patients are unaware they may be at high risk of developing . They are therefore not looking for signs of or they are mistaking signs of for side effects of their cancer treatment2.  

What are the signs and symptoms of ?

Different people experience different symptoms. Some people experience noticeable pain and discomfort while some don't feel a thing.

Recognising and reacting to possible symptoms fast is the best way to get ahead of . Call your doctor immediately if you experience any of the symptoms below:

Note: affected areas typically include the calf, thigh and pelvis / groin although it is possible to develop in other parts of the body. Contact your doctor to discuss your symptoms. 

    What are the signs and symptoms of ?

    can become far more serious, even life threatening, if part of the clot breaks off and travels to the lungs. This is called pulmonary embolism (). You should contact your local emergency room immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms: 

    NOTE: Pulmonary embolism is not the same as a heart attack; although the symptoms may sound similar, the two conditions are completely separate. 

    MAT 50144 Last approved March 2022


    1. Lyman G.H et al "American Society of Hematology 2021 guidelines for management of venous thromboembolism: prevention and treatment in patients
      with cancer", Blood Advances 2021, 5 (4) p:927-974
    2. Noble S. et al "Patients´Experiences of LIving with CANcer-associated : The PELICAN study", Patient Preference and Adherence 2015, ): 337-45

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