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. Be sure to call your doctor if you’re feeling fatigued, dizzy or faint, short of breath, your heart "pounding" very fast, or any other symptoms not listed.

Your doctor will often check your blood count during your treatment. If your counts are too low, he or she may prescribe medicine to boost the growth of your red blood cells. Discuss with your doctor if you become anemic often. If your red blood count falls too low, you may need a blood transfusion or medicine called erythropoietin to raise the number of red cells in your body.

Things you can do if you are anemic:
  • Get plenty of rest. Sleep more at night and take naps during the day if you can.
  • Limit your activities. Only do the things that are most important and essential to you.
  • Ask for help when you need it. Family members and friends can help with shopping, housework, driving, etc.
  • Eat a well balanced diet.
  • When sitting, get up slowly. When lying down, sit first and then stand. This will help prevent dizziness.

The information on this web site is provided for general information only. It is not intended as medical advice, and should not be relied upon as a substitute for consultations with qualified health professionals who are familiar with your individual medical needs. The MSCF disclaims all obligations and liabilities for damages arising from the use or attempted use of the information, including but not limited to direct, indirect, special, and consequential damages, attorneys' and experts' fees and court costs. Any use of the information will be at the risk of the user.

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