Blood Clots and Cancer: What should I do if I think I have a blood clot?

Watch these videos to learn more about cancer and thrombosis (blood clots), and what you can do to prevent blood clots.

If you have any of the signs or symptoms of a blood clot, call your doctor right away or go to an emergency department.  Call your doctor if you have any symptoms of a deep vein thrombosis (DVT – blood clot in the legs, thighs, or arms). Go directly to an emergency room if you have shortness of breath or other symptoms of a pulmonary embolism (PE – blood clot in the lungs).

How will my doctor know if I have a blood clot?

The doctor treating you will need to know what medications you take and how often. After discussing your medical history, the doctor will examine you and may ask some more detailed questions about your symptoms. Your doctor may also order some tests.  

  • A blood test known as the D-dimer can help test for a protein your body makes when there are new blood clots present. An ultrasound is the most common test for DVT and uses sound waves to create a picture of the arteries and veins in the leg. A computed tomography (CT) scan also creates a picture and is often used to diagnose PE. 

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