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
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