Cancer Patients Are Twice As Likely To Die From A Stroke

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Cancer Patients Are Twice As Likely To Die From A Stroke
Cancer Patients Are Twice As Likely To Die From A Stroke

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Cancer patients are twice as likely to die from a stroke

Stroke deaths are double the average among people with cancer or cancer survivors. In some cancers, the risk is even greater. The researchers found that cancers of the colon, rectum, breast, and prostate were most commonly associated with fatal strokes.

Cancer patients are twice as likely to die from a stroke
Cancer patients are twice as likely to die from a stroke

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Stroke deaths are double the average among people with cancer or cancer survivors. In some cancers, the risk is even greater. The researchers found that cancers of the colon, rectum, breast, and prostate were most commonly associated with fatal strokes. Scientists from the University of Pennsylvania College of Medicine published the study in Nature Communications.

“Previous research has shown that most cancer patients do not die from cancer, they die from other causes. Stroke is one option. Our results show that patients will benefit from the screening program, it can prevent some of these early deaths from stroke, and also determine which patients we can target these preventive actions,”said Nicholas Zaorsky. lead author of the study.

Scientists have noted a serious lack of recommendations for the prevention of strokes in cancer patients or cancer survivors. The American Heart Association and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network provide only selected stroke prevention guidelines and recommendations for those not receiving cancer therapy.

The study used information on cancer incidence, survival, treatment, age and year of diagnosis, collected through the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) program, covering 28% of the US population.

The authors analyzed data from 7,529,481 patients diagnosed with invasive cancer (spread beyond the tissue in which it originally developed) between 1992 and 2015. It turned out that 80,513 of them died from a stroke. The likelihood of dying from a stroke in men and women was approximately the same, while in those with a young age it was higher.

Among patients under 40, fatal strokes were most often associated with brain tumors and lymphomas, and those over 40 were associated with the colon, rectum, prostate, and breast.

As one of the explanations for the increased risk, the researchers cite the presence of a "prothrombotic" state in many cancer patients. This means that they are more likely to form a blood clot in the blood vessel.

“The blood clot can then enter the lungs and cause, for example, a pulmonary embolism or stroke if it enters the brain. Overall, this is a major risk factor for many cancer patients,”Zaorski explained.

Another explanation they propose is related to the specific effect of anticancer treatment on the body.

“A proportion of cancer patients receive chemotherapy or radiation therapy, which can have a direct effect on the blood vessels in the brain and increase the risk of stroke. This may be especially relevant for patients with brain cancer,”said Brad Zacharia, co-author of the study.

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