Anemia due to chemotherapy

Chemotherapy-Induced Anemia

The drugs that cause you to have myelosuppression work in many ways. Some of these drugs affect cells that divide very fast, including the cells that become blood cells. Some drugs kill cells and can affect the bone marrow that makes your blood cells. The most important thing to do is to keep taking your drug and talk to your doctor. Ask if there is another drug that does not cause as much myelosuppression. Together you can make a plan to deal with this side effect. Here are some other things you may need to do: Your doctor may decide to change your dose or the drugs you are taking. Do not stop your drugs without talking to your doctor. The doctor may try to treat the kind of blood cell that is low. For example, if you have a low RBC count, your doctor may give you a blood transfusion. If you are at risk for infections because your WBCs are low, you may need drugs to prevent or treat infections. There are also drugs to help your body build up RBCs and WBCs. If you are at risk for bleeding, you may need a platelet transfusion. Protect yourself from infections: Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 15 seconds, especially after you cough or sneeze. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizers if soap and water are not available. Do not get close to, hug, or kiss people who are sick. Avoid sharing your towels, tissues, food, or drink with anyone who is sick. Clean things you handle often like door handles, remotes, toys, and phones. Wipe them with a disinfectant. Avoid going to crowded places. Get a flu shot each year. Ask your doctor or dietitian for foods that will help you keep up your blood counts. Eat foods high in iron like: Meats and proteins like: Eggs (especially egg yolks), liver, lean red meat (especially beef), oysters, clams, poultry, salmon, tuna, tofu. Be sure your meat is fully cooked. Breads and grains like: Iron-fortified breads and cereals, whole grains Fruits like: Dried fruits such as prunes, raisins, and apricots; prune juice Vegetables like: Spinach and other dark green leafy vegetables; dried beans; white, red, and baked beans; soybeans; peas; lentils; chickpeas Also eat foods high in vitamin C like: Fruits like: Oranges, tangerines, kiwi, strawberries, cantaloupe Vegetables like: Broccoli, peppers, tomatoes, cabbage, potatoes