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Dissolving pumonary embolism
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Dissolving pumonary embolism

My husband has had lung cancer with surgery removing the two lower lobes of his right lung. He followed with chemo and has been cancer free for two years. Recently a CT scan followed by a PET scan of a mass at the surgery site precluded reoccurence of the cancer. Doctors have started him on Heparin and Comadin (sp?). What happens to the clot? We have had three different answers.
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I assume that "precluded recurrence" indicates no CT or PET scan evidence of recurrence of the cancer.  The doctors have concluded that your husband may have had a pulmonary embolus, perhaps with infarction.  Most pulmonary emboli do not cause infarction, which is death of tissue.  Most clots ultimately dissolve.  When there is infarction, however, the clot may organize, commonly called scarring and never resolve.  It is hard to predict what will occur and that is why you have been given 3 different answers.

The more important question than what happens to the clot is why did the clot occur?  There is an increased incidence of thrombosis and embolism in people who have had cancer, even when the cancer seems to have been cured.  Determining what risk factors are present and which of these may have led to clotting should be an important part of your husband's evaluation.

Good luck.
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