Cancer is more common in young stroke patients

Shortly after a stroke, teens are more likely to develop cancer than younger people who have not had a stroke. This provides evidence that cancer may play a role in causing stroke in these patients. This is the conclusion of research by the Radboud University Medical Center involving nearly 400,000 stroke patients.

Strokes only affect the elderly, right? No. Every year, about 3,000 Dutch people under the age of fifty suffer a stroke. Part of the brain is temporarily deprived of oxygen because there is a problem with blood flow. For example, a blood clot can clog a blood vessel and cause a stroke. A blood vessel can also rupture, causing a cerebral hemorrhage.

It is largely unknown why young people have strokes. Research by Radboud University Hospital shows a remarkable link between stroke and cancer at a young age. “We have been doing extensive research on young paralyzed patients for a long time,” says Jamie Verhoeven, a physician and researcher at the Department of Neurology. “We have already established that quite a few of these patients ultimately die of cancer. This surprised us because we expected cardiovascular disease to be the leading cause of death. Then we rolled into it even more.”

more cancer

Verhoeven and colleagues collected data from nearly 400,000 Dutch people who suffered a stroke between 1995 and 2018. They mapped out how many of these people subsequently received cancer treatment. They compared this to the number of cancers in people who had not had a stroke. And guess what: the following year, the number of cancer diagnoses was two and a half times higher in patients under 50 who had had a stroke. This was more than five times greater in younger patients with cerebral haemorrhage. It mainly affected lung cancer and blood cancer.

Professor of neurology Frank-Erik de Leeuw led the research and explained these remarkable results: “This suggests that cancer may play a role in the onset of stroke in some young patients. If the patient has a stroke, there is a good chance that the cancer is already present.” Heart attack. The diagnosis has not yet been made.” Researchers believe that blood clotting has something to do with it. Cancer is known to activate clotting. This can lead to blood clots or damage to blood vessels.

scan standard?

Should we now screen all young stroke victims for cancer? “It is still too early for that,” says De Leeuw. He says more research is needed first. For example, are there certain characteristics associated with an increased risk of cancer in these patients? De Leeuw: “Scanning everyone is dangerous. Then you randomly find all kinds of small deviations. This requires further research, which is not without risk. Think, for example, of scans or a biopsy, where we get parts.” While the psychological burden of such an intervention is very high, the risk of cancer in this group is very low.”

  • Author: editors
  • Source: Health Net