Tips on Coping With Anemia Related to Chemotherapy
]]>Chemotherapy]]> can reduce the bone marrow's ability to make red blood cells, which carry oxygen to all parts of your body. When there are too few red blood cells, body tissues do not get enough oxygen to do their work. This condition is called anemia. Anemia can make you feel short of breath, very weak, and tired. Call your doctor if you have any of these symptoms:
- Fatigue (feeling very weak and tired)
- Dizziness or feeling faint
- Shortness of breath
- Feeling as if your heart is "pounding" or beating very fast
Your doctor will check your blood cell count often during your treatment. She or he may also prescribe a medicine that can boost the growth of your red blood cells. Discuss this with your doctor if you become anemic often. If your red count falls too low, you may need a blood transfusion or a medicine called erythropoietin to raise the number of red blood cells in your body.
Tips for Coping
The following tips may help you cope with anemia related to chemotherapy:
- Get plenty of rest. Sleep more at night and take naps during the day if you can.
- Limit your activities. Do only the things that are essential or most important to you.
- Ask for help when you need it. Ask family and friends to pitch in with things like child care, shopping, housework, or driving.
- Eat a well-balanced diet.
- When sitting, get up slowly. When lying down, sit first and then stand. This will help prevent dizziness.
American Cancer Society
National Cancer Institute
American Cancer Society website. Available at: http://www.cancer.org .
National Cancer Institute website. Available at: http://www.nci.nih.gov/ .
Rizzo JD, Lichtin AE, Woolf SH, et al. Use of epoetin in patients with cancer: evidence-based clinical practice guidelines of the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the American Society of Hematology. J Clin Oncol. 2002;20:4083.
Last reviewed December 2008 by ]]>Igor Puzanov, MD]]>
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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