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Awareness of venous thromboembolism among patients with cancer: Preliminary findings from a global initiative for World Thrombosis Day

Key takeaway

This ongoing first online CAT survey involving 749 cancer patients with diverse ethnic, cultural, and geographical backgrounds highlighted important patient knowledge gaps at a global scale:

Unaware of cat risk

  • Almost 2/3 participants were not aware of the thrombotic risk associated with cancer and anti-cancer therapies (61.8%), with a large proportion (26%) made aware at the time of VTE diagnosis only

No education on vte symptoms

  •  >2/3 of responders (69.1%) were not educated to recognize the signs and symptoms of VTE

No instructions about consultation

  • Among those who were educated about possible VTE manifestations, 29.2% were not provided with basic instructions for seeking support/clinical consultation

Use of anticoagulants

  • Almost 1/4 participants (23.9%) had a history of VTE
  • About 1/2 of the overall population reported anticoagulant use during their lifetime (49.7%)

Unaware of bleeding risk

  • <1/3 of the patients (30.9%) discussed about primary thromboprophylaxis with their physicians
  • Majority (58.6%) of responders were unaware of the potential risk for bleeding complications

Cat education

  • Valued as absolutely essential/very important by vast majority (85%)
  • >1/2 of them (51.7%) believed that the time spent by their healthcare providers in CAT education was insufficient

These preliminary findings warrant urgent interventions to improve education and awareness and reduce CAT burden.

Why this matters

  • CAT might be underestimated, leading to limited efforts or effectiveness when informing and educating patients about CAT.
  • Data on CAT education and awareness among the general cancer population is limited.

This first global CAT survey was launched to:

  • Provide information on CAT education and awareness among a large, comprehensive, multiethnic, and multicultural population of individuals with cancer
  • Explore the contents, sources, and timing of CAT education, and its psychological impact
  • Estimate patients' knowledge and perceptions about anticoagulation in CAT

Study design

An online survey was launched on June 10, 2022 (active thereafter for about 6 months), comprising of 27 items dealing with common aspects of CAT.

  • The survey was translated in 14 languages, and promoted and disseminated online through social networks, email newsletters, websites, and media.
  • Preliminary data from the survey as of September 20, 2022 was presented.

Key results

Overall, 749 participants completed the survey.

  • 75.3% (age >50 years)
  • 68% women
  • 33.8% university graduates
  • 36.9% metastatic cancer
  • 81.1% cancer treatment

Education received about cat, sources, and timing

The understanding of CAT was rated as 'insufficient' (≤5 on a 1−10 scale) by 30.4% of responders who received CAT education (median: 7; IQR: 5−9).

Knowledge of clinical manifestations

For additional details on most acknowledged traditional risk factors for CAT please click on the hyperlink.

Diagnosis

Use of anticoagulants and reassessment

For further information on patients' discussion with treating physicians on thromboprophylaxis and their experience with CAT education, click on the hyperlink.

Limitations

  • Survey findings might not be fully representative of the general cancer population, and responders could have been potentially subject to recall bias.
  • Browser-based nature of the survey might have underrepresented subjects with limited access or familiarity with digital platforms and devices.

Abbreviations

CAT, cancer associated thrombosis; DVT, deep vein thrombosis; IQR, interquartile range; PE, pulmonary embolism; VTE, venous thromboembolism.

Reference

  1. Potere N, Barco S, Mahé I, Cesarman-Maus G, Angchaisuksiri P, Leader A, et al. Awareness of venous thromboembolism among patients with cancer: Preliminary findings from a global initiative for World Thrombosis Day. J Thromb Haemost. 2022;20(12):2964−2971. doi: 10.1111/jth.15902. PMID: 36201366.

Disclaimer: For the use of a registered medical practitioner or a hospital or a laboratory only.

For additional details, please refer the source publication Potere N, et al.

Disclaimer: This content is not intended to supersede or replace any local/country specific guidance or regulation around cancer-associated thrombosis that would be in place at the time of content generation

MAT-IN-2302257-1.0-10/2023