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Dr. Saha Tanima*, Dr. Banerjee Sanatan, Dr. Bhattacharyya Swati,Dr. Biswas Supreeti


Context: Anemia is a frequent finding in cancer patients, occurring in >40% of cases. Incidence of anemia may rise to 90% after chemotherapy. Anemia exerts a negative influence on the quality of life of cancer patients. Aims: To observe prevalence and incidence of chemotherapy induced anemia in breast cancer patients, with prior and concomitant iron supplementation in our setting. Settings and Design: A retrospective cum prospective study was conducted for 6 months in Radiotherapy Department of our institute. Methods and Materials: Patients receiving chemotherapy regimen comprised of 5- Fluorouracil, Doxorubicin and Cyclophosphamide, with prior iron supplementation were selected. Data regarding patients’ demographic profile, regimen given and hemoglobin level were collected. Patients were considered to be anemic if hemoglobin value was <12 g/dl. Statistical analysis used: Repeated measures ANOVA with bonferroni correction was done. Results: A total of 52 patients, aged between 35-60 yrs were interviewed. Prevalence of anemia at enrolment was 78.8%, of which 73.2% mild and 26.8% moderate. Mild anemia in 17.3%, moderate anemia in 63.5% and severe anemia in 19.2% were developed following chemotherapy (6 cycles). Conclusion: This study reveals a high prevalence and incidence of anemia following chemotherapy for breast cancer, even with prior iron supplementation. This may interfere with their normal daily activities, quality of life and treatment outcome. Thus careful monitoring and appropriate treatment should be given to those patients to improve their prognosis and quality of life.

Keywords: Anemia, Breast cancer, Chemotherapy, 5-Fluorouracil, Adriamycin and Cyclophosphamide.

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