Anemia means you have a low red blood cell count or your red blood cells don't have enough hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is an iron-rich protein found in red blood cells that carries oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body. If you're anemic, you might experience the following:
Anemia can be caused by breast cancer treatments:
- targeted therapy:
Medications like Epogen (chemical name: epoetin alfa), Aranesp (chemical name: darbepoetin alfa), and Procrit (chemical name: epoetin alfa) can help your body make more red blood cells. Talk to your doctor to see if a medicine like that might be right for you. You can also ask your doctor if an iron supplement would help you.
To help increase your body's iron levels and ease anemia, try to eat foods that are rich in iron:
- peanuts, peanut butter, or almonds
- lean beef
- fortified cereal
Also try to eat foods that are rich in vitamin B12:
- liver (cooked)
- clams (cooked)
- vitamin-fortified cold cereal
- wild caught rainbow trout (cooked)
- sockeye salmon (cooked)
For more tips, ask the members of the Breastcancer.org Discussion Boards for advice.