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Cancer and clotting link pinpointed

The chances of an adult male getting blood clots in his legs or lungs can at least double if he develops prostate cancer, researchers based in a London university have claimed.

And men with the cancer who are being treated with hormone therapy are thought to be at greater risk of clots, or thromboembolism.

Cancer has long been associated with blood clots, but the latest research demonstrates for the first time a specific association with clotting and prostate cancer.

The study looked at around 76,000 male prostate cancer victims from Sweden, who had had either curative treatment, hormone therapy or were being monitored without any treatment. All of them had a higher risk of thromboembolic disease than men from the population at-large.

Prostate cancer is linked to two types of blood clots: deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which usually appears in the legs, and pulmonary embolism, an often-fatal clot in the lungs. Those on hormone therapy were two-and-a-half times more likely to have a DVT and twice as likely to have a pulmonary embolism, compared with the general population.

Younger men with advanced disease are at the most risk, the researchers at Kings College London added.

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The Lancet Oncology