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Frequently Asked Questions – Chemotherapy and Anemia

Q. What are some of the common side effects of chemotherapy?

A. During chemotherapy, healthy tissues also may be damaged, causing some side effects. Such side effects vary from person to person and from one treatment to the next. The common side effects of chemotherapy include: tiredness, nausea and vomiting, pain, anemia, low platelet count possibly leading to bleeding, hair loss, digestive problems, and infection resulting from a weakened immune system due to a low white blood cell count.

Q. How is chemotherapy given?

A. Chemotherapy can be given in several different ways, including orally (by mouth), intravenously (through a vein), or through an injection. It is most often given intravenously.

Q. How does my doctor determine if I have anemia?

A. Anemia can be detected by measuring the amount of hemoglobin or hematocrit in your blood, usually performed as part of a complete blood count by your physician. Hemoglobin is a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. Hematocrit measures the percentage of red blood cells found in whole blood.