Are lym­phoma pa­tients at higher risk of clot­ting?

Cape Breton Post - - LIFESTYLES/IN MEMORIAM - Keith Roach Dr. Roach re­grets that he is un­able to an­swer in­di­vid­ual letters, but will in­cor­po­rate them in the col­umn when­ever pos­si­ble. Read­ers may email ques­tions to ToYourGoodHealth@med.cor­nell.edu or re- quest an or­der form of avail­able health newslet

DEAR DR. ROACH: Have you heard that lym­phoma pa­tients are more likely than oth­ers to de­velop blood clots af­ter surgery? I nearly died of a pul­monary em­bo­lus six days af­ter her­nia surgery. I have in­do­lent non-Hodgkin's lym­phoma and never have had chemo­ther­apy or ra­di­a­tion treat­ment. —P.R.

AN­SWER: Peo­ple with many dif­fer­ent types of can­cers are at higher risk for blood clot­ting. Those with can­cer of the pan­creas, colon, stom­ach, lung, kid­ney or brain are among the high­est risk. Blood can­cers, like leukemia and lym­phoma, also in­crease the risk of a blood clot. Surgery al­ready in­creases blood clot risk, but can­cer fur­ther in­creases the risk of blood clots. The com­bi­na­tion of can­cer, even an in­do­lent lym­phoma, and rou­tine surgery im­parts about a 6 per­cent risk of blood clots, which is high enough that rou­tine an­ti­co­ag­u­la­tion cer­tainly should be con­sid­ered. Peo­ple with can­cer should have a dis­cus­sion with their sur­geon about an­ti­co­ag­u­la­tion around surgery.

DEAR DR. ROACH: Maybe you will be able to fig­ure out what is ail­ing my mom. She is 87 and suf­fers from lots of health is­sues, but ex­ces­sive sweat­ing is the most ex­haust­ing and de­bil­i­tat­ing. Sev­eral times a day (and night), her clothes get soak­ing wet and she has to change them. It's been go­ing on for al­most two years. And be­cause of sweat­ing and a weak im­mune sys­tem, she easily catches cold.

She lives in Rus­sia, my home coun­try, and doc­tors there don't know why it is hap­pen­ing or how to help her. I read online that the thy­roid gland might be one of the rea­sons for the ex­ces­sive sweat­ing, but it was checked by an en­docrine doc­tor and was OK.

Soon I am go­ing back to my home coun­try, and I would like to help. I would ap­pre­ci­ate it very much if you have any ideas about my mother's con­di­tion or ad­vice as to what can be done to al­le­vi­ate her ex­ces­sive sweat­ing, as she suf­fers from it so much. —L.A.

AN­SWER: I'm afraid I can't fig­ure it out from the in­for­ma­tion you gave. Many con­di­tions can cause night sweats, es­pe­cially chronic in­fec­tions (tu­ber­cu­lo­sis is the clas­sic cause), in­flam­ma­tory con­di­tions (like rheuma­toid arthri­tis), tu­mors (such as lym­phoma), hor­monal changes (not just thy­roid, but es­tro­gen loss and ex­cess adren­a­line), atrial fib­ril­la­tion and anx­i­ety states. Just be­ing over­weight pre­dis­poses a per­son to night sweats, and some med­i­ca­tions can cause them. Find­ing the di­ag­no­sis re­quires skill, pa­tience and ju­di­cious use of the lab­o­ra­tory.

I wish I could help, but I would need to do a care­ful history and exam. I can't even sug­gest a treat­ment to stop it with­out hav­ing a good idea of what is caus­ing it.

The book­let on thy­roid gland prob­lems ex­plains this and other com­mon thy­roid ill­nesses. Read­ers can ob­tain a copy by writ­ing: Dr. Roach —No. 401, 628 Vir­ginia Dr., Or­lando, FL 32803. En­close a check or money or­der (no cash) for $4.75 U.S./$6 Can. with the re­cip­i­ent's printed name and ad­dress. Please al­low four weeks for de­liv­ery.

DR. ROACH WRITES: In June I ad­vised J.H., who was com­plain­ing about nasal con­ges­tion at night, to avoid al­ler­gens. Sev­eral read­ers wrote in to tell me that wa­ter is the key —wa­ter in the air ( from a hu­mid­i­fier), wa­ter in the nose ( from a sa­line spray) and just a glass of wa­ter at the bed­side. Strips of tape to hold open the nos­trils, avail­able com­mer­cially or ones you can make your­self, help many but not ev­ery­body. These are cheap, easy, have few if any side ef­fects and might help. As al­ways, I thank my read­ers who teach me help­ful in­for­ma­tion.

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