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Keywords:

  • venous thrombosis;
  • pulmonary embolism;
  • colorectal neoplasms;
  • breast neoplasms

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Multiple epidemiologic studies have reported associations between venous thromboembolic events and subsequent cancer diagnoses, but the published results have not suggested clear cancer screening approaches.

METHODS

Using data from the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results-Medicare Program, the authors identified patients who were diagnosed with breast and colorectal carcinoma (n = 7166 patients) and compared them with a noncancer control group (n = 126,668 patients) according to their history of hospitalization for deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolism (PE) in Medicare claims files over the previous 24 months. Using logistic regression analysis, the authors calculated the odds of receiving a diagnosis of breast carcinoma or colorectal carcinoma in the 24 months after admission for DVT or PE.

RESULTS

Patients who were hospitalized for DVT or PE had nearly 3.0 times the odds of being diagnosed with colorectal carcinoma (odds ratio [OR], 2.83; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 1.92–4.17) and > 1.5 times the odds of being diagnosed with breast carcinoma (OR, 1.78; 95% CI, 1.05–3.02) in the subsequent 24 months.

CONCLUSIONS

Because hospitalization for DVT or PE is associated with an increased risk of a breast or colorectal carcinoma diagnosis in the subsequent 2 years, physicians should be vigilant in assessing the cancer screening status of patients with new DVT and/or PE to be certain that they are up to date with recommended breast and colorectal screening guidelines. Cancer 2006. © 2006 American Cancer Society.