Badshah Khan, Parvez Ahmed, Iftikhar Hussain.
Management of cancer related anemia (CRA).
Pak Armed Forces Med J Jan ;54(2):209-16.
Cancer Related Anemia (CRA), manifesting as fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath and anorexia is common among patients with cancer. Correcting CRA will not only improve quality of life but also reduce morbidity and mortality by enhancing the efficiency of cancer treatment. Transfusion of red blood cells is the common approach to treat anaemia in cancer patients. Transfusion is comparatively cheap and leads to rapid correction of anaemia in virtually all patients. However, it carries certain risks like transfusion reactions and transmission of disease. Recombinant Human Erythropoietin (rHu EPO) is effective in correcting anaemia in at least two-third of the cases, without exposing them to the hazards of blood transfusion. Clinical trials have proved rHu EPO to be safe and effective in cancer patients. However it is costlier than blood transfusion and cost-benefit ratio would favour red cell transfusions in our setup. rHu EPO should be considered an option in selected cases in which red blood cell transfusions cannot be given due to various factors.
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