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 language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Oncology (Williston Park, N.Y.)|
|Issue number||9 Suppl 10|
|State||Published - Sep 2002|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research