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April 1989

Deep Venous Thrombosis and the Risk of Cancer

Author Affiliations

Pittsburgh, Pa

Arch Intern Med. 1989;149(4):966-969. doi:10.1001/archinte.1989.00390040158041

To the Editor.—The recent series of articles and editorials published in the Archives concerning the relationship of cancer and deep venous thrombosis (DVT) raises some interesting issues. The finding of Goldberg et al1 that the patient with DVT has 2.7 times the risk of being diagnosed with cancer in 5 years in comparison with a patient without DVT has prompted some investigators to promote a workup for occult neoplasms in patients with

DVT.2,3 Using a similar study design, Griffin et al4 did not find such a strong or statistically significant association, though the incidence of cancer in patients with DVT was twice that expected in the general population. Two points must be emphasized prior to accepting these data as compelling enough to warrant an expensive and possibly invasive work-up in such patients.

First, in the Goldberg study 36% of the patients with DVT developed cancer of the lung

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