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What is Cancer?

  • Cancer is the general name given to a group of related diseases that are characterized by cells that stop responding to signals from surrounding cells, divide without control while spreading into surrounding tissues. 

  • These abnormal cells, that survive longer than they normally should, and multiply without check, may appear almost anywhere in the body, usually to form growths called tumors (except for cancer of the blood). 

  • The cancerous growth breaches the confines of the original tissue from which it originated to spread into nearby tissues, which makes it malignant.

  • In addition, cancer may undergo metastasis as cancerous cells detach from the tumor and are carried by the blood or lymph flow to distant locations in the body to form new tumors. 
    The treatment of metastatic cancer is much more complicated and, in fact, most people that die of cancer die of cancer that has metastised.

Cancer-Induced Anemia

  • Some cancer types involve inflammation, and as such might cause anemia of chronic inflammation. Also, anemia can result from types of cancer in organs and tissues that are involved in the production of red blood cells, like Leukemia and lymphoma, that damage bone marrow, or cancers that involved excessive bleeding, like Gastrointestinal, cervical and male genital cancers.

  • Cancer treatment like chemotherapy and radiation damage bone marrow and might also damage the kidneys, and as such also cause anemia. Most cancer patients receiving said treatments suffer from anemia, with varying severity.

  • Though usually temporary, for the duration of the cancer treatments, the symptoms of anemia, that also include hair loss, sores in the mouth, nausea, decrease in fertility in men, weaken the patient, making coping with the physical and mental effects of the disease and treatment even more difficult, and might reduce the patient’s survival chances.

  • In some cases when the anemia becomes severe, it might delay treatment and the patient may even require transfusions before treatment can be resumed.

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