The Mystery Hidden by Pulmonary Embolism: Colonic Adenocarcinoma
Mithat Selvi̇, Sevil Önay, Tarkan Tekten
Keywords: Pulmonary embolism, colonic adenocarcinoma/diagnosis, idiopathic venous thromboembolism, occult cancer
Despite the fact that the association between cancer and pulmonary embolism is well recognised, screening for malignancy is not conducted routinely. However, screening for malignancy can be life-saving for some patients. We present the case of a 53-year-old woman who was diagnosed with pulmonary embolism and concomitant idiopathic venous thromboembolism (VTE) without any prominent risk factors for a hypercoagulative state. Clinical and laboratory tests were used to detect the potential causes of idiopathic VTE, such as occult cancer. Consequently, abdominal magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography revealed caecal tumour. Pathological test results indicated early-stage colonic adenocarcinoma. Right hemicolectomy was performed by general surgery and the patient was discharged from the hospital without any problems. Although there has been no consensus about screening for an occult malignancy routinely in idiopathic VTE, occult cancer should be considered in unexplained hypercoagulative states.