Health

Anemia linked to cancer risk


Certain types of cancer, such as blood cancer, bone cancer or colon cancer, can attack blood cells, causing anemia.

Cancer occurs when cells mutate and multiply uncontrollably. This is a group of diseases affecting almost all different parts of the body, the severity of the disease also depends on many stages. Meanwhile, anemia refers to a blood disorder that causes a low red blood cell count, making it difficult for the blood to carry enough oxygen to support body functions.

Follow HealthlineMany studies have shown that about 30-90% of people with cancer are also anemic. Anemia and cancer are closely linked. Anemia has been found to be a risk factor for developing cancer.

There are some cancers that can attack the blood cells, causing anemia. Cancer treatment with chemotherapy can also cause anemia by slowing the production of new blood cells. Researchers think anemia and cancer are multifactorial, meaning there’s more than one reason a person with cancer might be anemic. The causes of anemia vary depending on the type of cancer. Anemia has many types, in which, iron deficiency anemia is the most associated with cancer.

Cancer attacks the blood cells causing anemia. Photo: Freepik

Here are some of the common types of cancer associated with developing anemia.

Anemia and blood cancer

Leukemia is a type of cancer commonly associated with anemia. Blood cancer affects the way the body produces and uses red blood cells. Most of the time, blood cancers start in the bone marrow, causing the abnormal growth of blood cells. These abnormal blood cells push healthy bone marrow cells out, hindering red blood cell production. This reduces the body’s ability to function normally and can cause bleeding or infection.

Anemia and bone cancer

Bone cancer is rare in adults. It begins when abnormal cells begin to grow in the bone into a mass or tumor, called a sarcoma. Some bone cancers appear to be related to genetic, mutated blood cells, while others are linked to previous radiation exposure, such as radiation therapy for other cancers. before.

Anemia and cervical cancer

Cervical cancer is caused by abnormal cell growth in the cervix, the lower part of the uterus that connects to the vagina. The sexually transmitted human papillomavirus (HPV) is thought to be the cause of most cases of cervical cancer. In addition, abnormal growth of cells in the cervix often causes bleeding, and iron deficiency leads to anemia.

Anemia and colorectal cancer

Colorectal cancer is caused by abnormal growth of cells in the large intestine (colon, also known as the intestine). These cells can form tumors on or inside the blood vessels in the rectum. These tumors can lead to bleeding and loss of healthy red blood cells, one of the common causes of anemia.

Many people with colorectal cancer experience bleeding leading to bloody stools, weakness, and fatigue associated with anemia. Iron deficiency anemia may be the first sign of colon cancer in some patients.

Anemia and prostate cancer

Prostate cancer is an abnormal growth of cells in the prostate gland, a small gland that produces and transports semen. People with prostate cancer sometimes experience bleeding from the prostate gland, which can appear as blood in semen. Bleeding and blood cell abnormalities can cause anemia.

Experts believe that anemia can reduce the overall recovery of cancer patients after treatment. Older adult cancer patients lose a significant amount of function (the ability to perform daily activities and tasks) with anemia, compared with those with cancer alone. Therefore, people with cancer who are diagnosed with anemia or are at risk for anemia should take preventive measures early to ensure their red blood cell count is within a healthy range.

Mr. Chi
(Follow Healthline)

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