Management of chemotherapy-induced thromboembolism in breast cancer

Thromboembolic events are common in cancer patients and, apart from contributing to significant morbidity, are regarded as the second leading cause of death in this population. Breast cancer patients are considered low risk for venous thromboembolism; however, the presence of advanced disease and use of chemotherapy and/or other adjunct treatments significantly raises this risk by altering the balance of pro- and anti-coagulant proteins. Low molecular weight heparin is central to the management of venous thromboembolism in this context, whether for prophylaxis, acute management or prevention of recurrences. Risk stratification models need to be incorporated to guide decision making where available.

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