Most patients with cancer are not aware of their risk for cancer-associated venous thromboembolism (CAT), according to research published in the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis. The findings suggest the need for urgent interventions to improve education and awareness among patients, caregivers, and healthcare professionals to reduce CAT burden.
Researchers presented preliminary results of an ongoing patient-centered survey that includes 27 items on knowledge and awareness of CAT. The survey is available online in 14 languages and is being promoted through social networks, email newsletters, websites, and media. It was launched on June 10, 2022, and will be available for approximately 6 months.
As of September 20, 2022, 749 participants (women, 68%; men, 32%) from 27 countries (Europe, 32.7%; Latin America, 26.2%; Asia, 17%; Middle East, 12.5%; Africa, 10.2%) completed the survey. Self-reported race/ethnicity in the population was 38% White, 23.3% Hispanic or Latino; 16.3% Asian, and 10.2% Black or African American. Most participants (75.3%) were ≥50 years of age.
The researchers found that most responders (61.8%) were not aware of their risk of CAT. Of those who reported receiving information on CAT (38.2%), 26.2% were informed only at the time of CAT diagnosis.
They found that 69.1% of responders reported receiving no education on signs and symptoms of venous thromboembolism (VTE). Of those who reported education about possible clinical manifestations (30.9%), 58.9% reported that they received instructions to seek consultation when VTE was suspected.
The team found that 30.9% of responders reported they had the opportunity to discuss the potential use of primary thromboprophylaxis with healthcare providers, but 58.7% of responders reported they were unaware of the risks of bleeding associated with anticoagulation, regardless of discussions on anticoagulants or exposure to anticoagulants.
The researchers found that most responders (85%) reported that receiving CAT education was highly relevant, but only 51.7% expressed concerns about insufficient clarity of and time spent on CAT education.
“Altogether, the data [suggest] an increasing need to build or implement (when already in place) thrombo-oncology care pathways, shared by oncology and thrombosis specialists, patients and their caregivers, encompassing CAT education and communication programs, routine assessment of CAT risk, standardized algorithms for the preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic management of CAT, as well as adequate psychological support,” the researchers stated.
Limitations of the study included potential lack of representation of the general cancer population, including patients with limited access to or familiarity with online platforms and digital devices, and potential recall bias.
Disclosure: Some study authors declared affiliations with biotech, pharmaceutical, or device companies. Please see the original reference for a full list of authors’ disclosures.
Potere N, Barco S, Mahé I, et al. Awareness of venous thromboembolism among patients with cancer: Preliminary findings from a global initiative for World Thrombosis Day. J Thromb Haemost. Published online October 6, 2022. doi:10.1111/jth.15902