The effects of anemia and anemia treatment on the quality of life of people with cancer.

David Cella*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations

Abstract

Anemia, common in people with cancer, can be due to the disease itself or to the associated therapy. Fatigue, the most prevalent of all symptoms experienced by cancer patients, is the primary symptom of anemia. Caused by many factors,fatigue, regardless of etiology, has an adverse impact on health-related quality of life. Anemia is among the more treatable of those causes. Prior to the development of recombinant human erythropoietin, red blood cell transfusion was the standard treatment for cancer-related anemia. Erythropoietic agents are an effective alternative to blood transfusion: they improve hematocrit, reduce transfusion dependency, and eliminate transfusion-related risks. Although studies are mixed, most clinical trials have also suggested that erythropoietic agents have a positive impact upon cancer patients' quality of life. However, the cost of drug supply is quite high in the oncology setting, where much higher doses are required relative to the nephrology setting. Thus, although few challenge the treatment's effectiveness, cost-effectiveness remains an open question. The data collected over the years to address these questions have helped define and clarify the relationship between anemia and health-related quality of life in people with cancer. That relationship is summarized in this article.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)125-132
Number of pages8
JournalOncology (Williston Park, N.Y.)
Volume16
Issue number9 Suppl 10
StatePublished - Sep 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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