Can blood clots caused by breast cancer treatment be dissolved?

1 answer | Last updated: Nov 09, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

There is a medication (pill) given to cancer patients with breast cancer that causes blood clots. What is this medication and is there any way to prevent blood clots from forming or can the clots be dissolved some kind of way?

Expert Answers

Harvey Gilbert, MD, is a radiation oncologist with more than 35 years of professional experience in the medical field, working with cancer patients. He has edited 14 medical textbooks and coauthored 40 papers in the field of oncology. Dr. Gilbert is the medical director of the Ben Schaffer Cancer Institute in Lodi, California.

The use of a female hormone blocking agent, like Tamoxifen, is a breast cancer treatment that has a very small risk of causing blood clotting, especially if used along with chemotherapy. In general, the benefits of its use far outweigh the risks of this rare complication. The risks of using an anti-coagulant to reduce this rare complication far outweigh any benefits it may provide. In the rare case, where breast cancer treatment causes a blood clot, anti-coagulants are highly effective.