- Question from Miracle Baby: I was fortunate to have received Neupogen, a white blood cell stimulator, 10 days prior to each treatment. Why do I not hear more of today's survivors being given this, as well as Procrit, to stimulate the cells, thereby reducing stress on the body due to the chemo?
- Answers - Mitch Golant I am not a physician - I am a psychologist - but both of those medications are used to combat low blood counts and to prevent the suppression of the immune system as a result of the chemotherapy, and they are prescribed to most of the patients I interact with.
- Marisa Weiss, M.D. These medications - Neupogen (used to increase white blood cell/immune cell count) and Procrit (used to increase red blood cell counts) - are given when these levels are critically low. Chemo makes your white blood cell count go down. If they go down below a level that will protect you from infection, your doctor will probably recommend the use of Neupogen to bring your counts back up to a safer level. Avoiding infection is a very important goal when managing the side effects of treatment. Procrit is given to improve red blood cell counts, the cells responsible for bringing oxygen to your body. These red blood cells provide the energy that your body needs to conduct its business. Every doctor has a different style of using these medications. The main thing is that these are available options for you to help minimize side effects of treatment.
On Wednesday, September 19, 2001, our Ask-the-Expert Online Conference was called Stress and Your Immune System. Mitch Golant, Ph.D. and Marisa Weiss, M.D. answered your questions on how stress affects your treatment, and what you can do to boost your immune system.
The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.
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