Anemia is a condition caused by a low hemoglobin level in the blood. It’s common during cancer treatment.

On a blood test, the hemoglobin percentage measures the ability of the red blood cells to carry oxygen.

  • For men: A normal hemoglobin range is about 13.5 to 16.
  • For women: A normal hemoglobin range is about 12 to 15.

Most people still feel well with a hemoglobin percentage as low as 10. Feeling tired is a common sign of anemia.

What to look for

  • New or worsening tiredness that makes it harder to do your regular activities
  • Chest pain or shortness of breath when you’re active
  • Pale skin, nail beds, or gums
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness

bleeding, which can cause anemia:

  • Bright red, dark red, or black stool
  • Dark brown or bright red vomit

What the patient can do

  • Balance rest and activities.
  • Tell your cancer team if you’re not able to get around as well as usual.
  • Plan your important activities when you have the most energy.
  • Eat a balanced diet that includes protein (such as fish, meat, eggs, cheese, milk, nuts, peas, and beans).
  • Drink 8 to 10 glasses of water a day, unless you are given other instructions. It’s OK to drink other liquids instead of water – as juice or soup.

What caregivers can do

  • to care about patient food ,drinks and general wellbeing.
  • Watch for confusion, faintness, or dizziness.

Contact the cancer team if the patient:

  • Has chest pain
  • Has shortness of breath when resting
  • Feels dizzy or faint
  • Gets confused or can’t concentrate
  • Has not been able to get out of bed for more than 24 hours
  • Has blood in their stool
  • Has dark brown or bright red vomit
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