Popular Articles :

Chemotherapy-induced anemia

Definition of anemia

Anemia is defined by a decrease in the number of red blood cells or hemoglobin that carries oxygen (<11 g / dl).

Anemia is common in patients with cancer and is linked to cancer itself, treatment and including chemotherapy, we talk in this case of chemotherapy-induced anemia.

Chemotherapy-induced anemia causes anemia as all severe fatigue. If anemia is confirmed, treatment with erythropoietin (EPO) or blood transfusion is considered.

Challenges and risks of anemia

Over 80% of patients complain of fatigue or tiredness. It is the most common side effect of chemotherapy. Chemotherapy-induced anemia is among all causes of chronic fatigue side effect The most common reversible and justifies treatment and listening on the part of caregivers to limit the negative impact on the quality of life of cancer patients .

Causes and origins of chemotherapy-induced anemia

Chemotherapy-induced anemia in cancer is due to chemotherapeutic agents that kill all rapidly dividing cells in the body, whether healthy or cancerous. Red blood cells produced in the bone marrow, in part because of their high turnover rate.

In addition, chemotherapy works by inhibiting the ability of the bone marrow to produce new red blood cells by decreasing renal secretion of a hormone called erythropoietin.

Red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout the body are less numerous, the amount of oxygen delivered is lower and fatigue occurs.

Symptoms of anemia

The first symptom of anemia is chemotherapy-induced an unusual feeling of tiredness (asthenia speaking). Fatigue is extreme and may be accompanied by dizziness and shortness of breath. Indeed, the heart tries to compensate for the lack of oxygen greater efforts, it accelerates and is called tachycardia.

Anemia can also be manifested by pallor, especially at mucous membranes (conjunctiva, lips ...). If symptoms develop, consult immediately.

Chemotherapy-induced anemia - Prevention

With what should we be confused?

It should not be confused with chemotherapy-induced anemia anemia from other causes. Some anemias are indeed related to the cancer itself (invasion of the bone marrow ...) and are treated differently.

Similarly, it should not be confused anemia and leukopenia (low white blood cells) and / or thrombocytopenia (low platelets). Many of these anomalies may coexist, and both cell lines are talking with aplastic anemia. In addition to fatigue, the risks are bleeding (low platelets) and infectious (decrease in white blood cells).

Is there a prevention possible?

Some drugs help increase the number of red blood cells produced by the body and are called erythropoiesis-stimulating agents that stimulate the bone marrow to produce more red blood cells. These medications may be prescribed to prevent or treat chemotherapy-induced anemia.

In addition, it is essential to rest (sleep longer naps ...) and to limit activities. A balanced diet with nutritional supplements or drinks rich is recommended.

To prevent dizziness, it is advisable to gradually lift. Do not hesitate to get help during this difficult time for daily activities (shopping, transport ...).

Chemotherapy-induced anemia - Consultation

When to consult?

Fatigue due to anemia chemotherapy - induced is not inevitable. It is reversible and can be treated effectively. See the early symptoms. Similarly, if signs appear hemorrhagic (bleeding gums while brushing teeth, nose bleeding, hematoma ...) or infectious (fever ...), visit an emergency. A blood test will check the blood count.

What is the doctor?

The care team checks the number of red blood cells / hemoglobin in principle at blood test before each chemotherapy cycle.

If anemia is confirmed, measures can be taken by your doctor or oncologist (cancer specialist) prescription drugs that stimulate red blood cell production (erythropoiesis stimulating agents), dietary supplementation (intake of iron, folic acid ...), or blood transfusion.

In all cases, your doctor will also eliminate other causes of anemia (bleeding, hemolytic anemia ...) accessible to specific treatments.

How to prepare my next visit?

In case of treatment with erythropoiesis-stimulating agents, adverse reactions may occur and should be reported to your doctor (fever, headache, pain in the muscles ...). In case of chest pain or high blood pressure (measured by AUTOTENSIOMETRE) quick reference.

Alerts: If you want to know more fresh update helpful articles enter your email address below and be notified by mail.

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner