Cancer Institute A national cancer institute
designated cancer center

Managing Chemotherapy Side Effect

Nausea / Vomiting and Chemotherapy
Hair Loss and Chemotherapy
Pain and Chemotherapy
Mucositis / Mouth Sores and Chemotherapy
Diarrhea and Chemotherapy
Constipation and Chemotherapy
Chemotherapy's Effects on Organs / Body Systems
Skin / Nails and Chemotherapy
Bone Marrow Suppression and Chemotherapy
Anemia and Chemotherapy
Infection and Chemotherapy
Blood Clots / Bruising and Chemotherapy
Appetite / Taste Changes and Chemotherap


Bone Marrow Suppression and Chemotherapy

The side effects of chemotherapy depend on the type of chemotherapy and the amount given. Anticipating and managing side effects can help to minimize them and provide the best possible experience for the person receiving chemotherapy.

What is bone marrow suppression?

As each person's individual medical profile and diagnosis is different, so is his/her reaction to treatment. Side effects may be severe, mild, or absent. Be sure to discuss with your cancer care team any/all possible side effects of treatment before the treatment begins.

Nearly all chemotherapy agents suppress the bone marrow that, in turn, causes a reduction in the number of blood cells. The timing of this reduction varies according to which agents are used for your treatment. Red blood cells carry oxygen, white blood cells fight infection, and platelets help to control bleeding and bruising. Thus, the risks for anemia, fatigue, infection, bleeding, and bruising are increased with bone marrow suppression.

What are symptoms of bone marrow suppression?

The following are the most common symptoms of bone marrow suppression. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently.

Symptoms of a low red blood cell count may include:

Symptoms of a low white blood cell count may include:

Symptoms of a low platelet count may include:

The symptoms of bone marrow suppression may resemble other medical conditions or problems. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis.

 

 

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