- Cancer Information
- Cancer treatment
- Managing chemotherapy side effects
- How chemotherapy affects the blood
If your red blood cell count drops, a reduced amount of oxygen circulates through your body. This can cause anaemia, which can make you feel tired, lethargic, dizzy or breathless. These tips for coping with fatigue may be helpful. To minimise dizziness, take your time when you get up from sitting or lying down.
Your treatment team will monitor your red blood cell levels. Let them know if you experience any symptoms of anaemia while having chemotherapy. If the levels of red blood cells drop too low, you may need a blood transfusion to build them up again.
Dr Prunella Blinman, Medical Oncologist, Concord Cancer Centre, Concord Repatriation General Hospital, and Clinical Senior Lecturer, Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney, NSW; Gillian Blanchard, Oncology Nurse Practitioner, Calvary Mater Newcastle, and Conjoint Lecturer, School of Nursing and Midwifery, The University of Newcastle, NSW; Julie Bolton, Consumer; Keely Gordon-King, Psychologist, Cancer Council Queensland, QLD; John Jameson, Consumer; Dr Zarnie Lwin, Medical Oncologist, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, and Senior Lecturer, School of Medicine, The University of Queensland, QLD; Caitriona Nienaber, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council WA; Dr Felicia Roncolato, Medical Oncology Staff Specialist, Macarthur Cancer Therapy Centre, NSW. We also thank the health professionals, consumers and editorial teams who have worked on previous editions of this title.
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