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Presence of varicose vein in cancer patients


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Hi, my father has pancreatic cancer and is currently undergoing the treatments for it. For a few weeks, he has severe leg pain. On diagnosis, it was found that he has got varicose veins. The doctor recommended having a sclerotherapy treatment ( http://www.vaughanveinclinic.com/treatments/sclerotherapy/ ) from Toronto. Is it safe for a cancer patient to undergo a sclerotherapy treatment? Will it lead to any complications? All discussions and thoughts on this topic are highly recommended.

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PCUK Nurse Rachel C

Dear Healthyford,

Thank you for your post and welcome to the forum. I'm sorry to hear that your farther has pancreatic cancer and that he has been experiencing severe leg pain.

In terms of treating varicose veins, I must say that I have heard of 'sclerotherapy' but have not cared for anyone who has it it, especially anyone who is undergoing chemotherapy.

My suggestion is that your farther would need to discuss this with his oncologist (unless it was the Oncologist that suggested in in the first instance?). Usually, any invasive procedures (even some dental work) should be avoided whilst undergoing chemotherapy, as you are more at risk of infections, however, this may actually depend on what chemotherapy your father is having.

It may also just be worth bearing in mind that your father may be at slightly higher risk of developing a deep vein thrombosis, due to the varicose veins, so again, it might be worth discussing this with your farthers oncologist.

Some strategies for decreasing your risk of a deep vein thrombosis include:

Regular movement, taking short walks, simple leg exercises if your sitting for prolonged periods and drinking plenty of water (just like you would do on a flight).

Cancer Research UK have produced some very good information about the risk of blood clots, so you may want to read more about it via the link below:


Apologies, as I really can not advise in relation to the sclerotherapy.

Kindest regards,


Pancreatic Cancer Specialist Nurse

Support Team

Pancreatic Cancer UK

email: support@pancreaticcancer.org.uk

support line: 0808 801 0707

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