Stroke survivors are at double the risk of developing cancer, new research suggests.
Spanish scientists believe that the potentially deadly blood clots may be triggered by tumours which have yet to cause symptoms.
They said this would help explain why they are diagnosed with cancer after having already suffered a life-changing stroke – giving tumours time to develop.
In two thirds of the cases recorded in a small study, the disease had already spread around the body, known as metastasis – making the cancer deadlier.
Survivors should thus be closely monitored for cancer in the 18 months after they suffered a stroke, the doctors said.
The early results, dubbed ‘interesting’, by researchers at the Hospital de La Princesa, Madrid, were based on medical records of 381 patients.