The Burden of Anaemia in Patients with CancerPujade-Lauraine E.a · Gascón P.b
aService d’Oncologie, Hôtel-Dieu, Paris, France; bHospital Clinic, Barcelona, Spain
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Anaemia is highly prevalent in patients with cancer, and its incidence and severity depend on many factors, such as type of anti-cancer therapy. The decreased oxygen capacity of blood resulting from anaemia affects virtually every organ and tissue system in the body, manifesting in numerous signs and symptoms that include fatigue, dyspnoea, palpitations, tachycardia, asthenia, anorexia, cold hypersensitivity and general weakness. Anaemia related to cancer may also cause cognitive dysfunction, leading to decreased mental alertness, poor concentration and memory problems. There is a close association between anaemia and overall quality of life (QoL) variables, and anaemia is an adverse prognostic factor in patients with cancer. Since anaemia can seriously compromise the QoL of cancer patients and is associated with decreased overall survival time, there is a strong need for effective and well-tolerated treatment strategies. Erythropoietic agents have been proven to be safe, well-tolerated and effective in the management of anaemia in patients with cancer. Epoetin therapy reduces transfusion requirements and increases haemoglobin levels in patients with solid tumours and haematological malignancies.
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