Oncology (General Cancer)/cancer/blood disorder?

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I'm afraid I may be having signs of a blood disorder, possibly even cancer. I've been taking coumadin for over a year because of a DVT. I alternate between 5mg and 7.5mg daily. My INR in early Sept. was 1.9. I didn't have it checked again until late October and it was 6.3. It really spooked me and alarmed the doctor's staff. My doctor said to go off the coumadin for 3 days and then start back at 5mg. I've gone off it all together and plan to have it checked again next week. I think something serious may be going on. I did take Motrin for about two weeks following a cold/virus with a fever. I would take one reg. tablet during the day and then two at night that had a sleep aid in it. But I kind of doubt if all that would be sufficient to raise my INR to that level. I had an HIV test just to clear my mind of that issue and it was negative. My other chief complaint is unexplained tiredness and it seems like since the virus I'm not gaining weight like I normally would after overeating.

Answer
Changes in the INR like you describe are not uncommon; that's why they are monitored.  And your MD did what should be done -- hold the drug and re-check at some future date, usually a week after the first dose of the new regimen.  The INR is very sensitive to a lot of things, including changes in diet -- not eating, or cutting back on intake; lowering or raising intake of green vegetables; etc.  If you have a viral infection it often affects the liver and  that can cause the INR to increase even in a normal person.  All that being said, it would not be a cause of unexplained tiredness, unless you have lost blood during your high INR.  The tiredness should be looked into if it persists.  But you haven't said anything that makes me think you have cancer.  Hope this helps.  

Oncology (General Cancer)

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Donald Higby, M.D.

Expertise

I can answer almost all questions related to the treatment and natural course of most kinds of cancer, especially cancers of prostate, colon, lung and breast.

Experience

I have been a practicing medical oncologist for 36 years, and have been chief of service at a major medical center for 25 years. I've also done research in cancer treatments.

Organizations
American Society of Clinical Oncology

Publications
New England Journal of Medicine American Journal of Medicine Journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology Hematology Transfusion Medicine

Education/Credentials
MD, Stanford University Internal Medicine residency, St. Louis University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO Medical Oncology Fellowship, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY

Awards and Honors
America's Best Physicians, last 14 years

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