Information for Patients
If you have anemia, your blood does not carry enough oxygen to the rest of your body. The most common cause of anemia is not having enough iron. Your body needs iron to make hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is an iron-rich protein that gives the red color to blood. It carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body.
Anemia has three main causes: blood loss, lack of red blood cell production, and high rates of red blood cell destruction.
Conditions that may lead to anemia include
- Heavy periods
- Colon polyps or colon cancer
- Inherited disorders
- A diet that does not have enough iron, folic acid or vitamin B12
- Blood disorders such as sickle cell anemia and thalassemia, or cancer
- Aplastic anemia, a condition that can be inherited or acquired
- G6PD deficiency, a metabolic disorder
Anemia can make you feel tired, cold, dizzy, and irritable. You may be short of breath or have a headache.
Your doctor will diagnose anemia with a physical exam and blood tests. Treatment depends on the kind of anemia you have.
NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
Normally, your cells grow and die in a controlled way. Cancer cells keep growing without control. Chemotherapy is drug therapy for cancer. It works by killing the cancer cells, stopping them from spreading, or slowing their growth. However, it can also harm healthy cells, which causes side effects.
You may have a lot of side effects, some, or none at all. It depends on the type and amount of chemotherapy you get and how your body reacts. Some common side effects are fatigue, nausea, vomiting, pain, and hair loss. There are ways to prevent or control some side effects. Talk with your health care provider about how to manage them. Healthy cells usually recover after chemotherapy is over, so most side effects gradually go away.
Your treatment plan will depend on the cancer type, the chemotherapy drugs used, the treatment goal, and how your body responds. Chemotherapy may be given alone or with other treatments. You may get treatment every day, every week, or every month. You may have breaks between treatments so that your body has a chance to build new healthy cells. You might take the drugs by mouth, in a shot, as a cream, or intravenously (by IV).
NIH: National Cancer Institute