Question: My father-in-law is 87, has stomach cancer, and is going through chemo. His ankles always swell after his shots. His doctor is not concerned, but I’m worried that he is at high risk for a blood clot. He is also a diabetic and his circulation is poor. What is your opinion?
Dr. Hibberd’s answer:
You are quite correct. Your father-in-law is at high risk for a clot. Swelling with known malignancy increases the risk for a clot. When you add reduced mobility or bed rest, and vascular disease from diabetes to the equation, you have all the makings for high clot risks.
He might need to be on some clot-preventive regimen, but his chemo may be affecting his platelet function, which could make preventive medications risky. His condition needs to be evaluated by his treating oncologist. With your father’s permission, be sure to express your concerns to his doctors, so they can evaluate his situation further.
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