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dvt.pngThis topic ain’t pretty, but it’s important. March is Deep-Vein Thrombosis (DVT) Awareness Month. As a very fortunate DVT/PE survivor, I’d like to encourage you to learn about this preventable problem that kills more Americans every year than breast cancer and AIDs combined.

DVT is a blood clot that forms in the deep veins, usually in the leg. If a DVT breaks loose and travels to the lungs, it is called a pulmonary embolism (PE). Each year, up to 2 million Americans are affected by DVT, and of those, approximately 300,000 will die. That is, more people die annually from DVT/PE than from breast cancer and AIDs combined.

DVT can be prevented. To learn more about deep vein thrombosis – including the signs, symptoms, risk factors, and prevention methods – and to get answers to your questions, visit DVT Awareness on Facebook.

Update: The autoimmune diseases that can cause DVTs and Pulmonary Emboli (PE) are far more common than people, or doctors, know and are often mis-diagnosed. Celebrity spokespeople often lead to further awareness and research, and two prominent celebrities recently announced their autoimmune diseases. Sadly, it takes an average of six years for patients with autoimmune diseases to be diagnosed.

Nick Cannon, radio personality and 31 year-old husband of Mariah Carey, has announced that he had blood clots on his lungs caused by a “Lupus-like autoimmune disease” which has already affected his kidneys. He has had to step down from his New York-based radio show to tend to his health.

Venus Williams bowed out of the U.S. Open last fall due to Sjogren’s syndrome, one of more than 80 autoimmune diseases in which the immune system goes haywire and attacks healthy tissue and organs. Like many of the millions of people who suffer years before getting accurate diagnosis, she said she was relieved to finally know that “my normal may not be what it was, but i feel like now I can get better.”