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Chemo related anemia


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My husband has been having difficulties the past week with anemia caused by this latest chemo (Adriamycin). He is really weak and pale and the doc gave him a shot and said it would stimulate the bone marrow to produce more red blood cells. I am wondering if there is anything I can do to help him feel better. Any specific foods to give him? Sometimes people know little tricks that the doc doesn't know. He is really dragging and I feel sorry for him.

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I was seriously anemic, and had two transfusions prior to starting chemo, when they started to give me weekly procrit shots instead.

I had a craving for red meat, and high iron green vegetables. I was told to stay away from the "good " vitamins, like antioxidants, because they interfered with the chemo, but good nutritional support is fundamental to getting through this.

All the red meat he wants!! and all the calories he can handle, assuming he has no prior medical condition that would preclude this.

The other thing is just to not push yourself, as one feels terribly breathless on exertion when anemic. Rest, and rest comfortably. This too shall pass.


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When Howard was starting chemo I asked our oncologist if it would be okay to start him on Geritol. He said that would be fine and might help avoiding the low red blood counts. Well it must have worked, Howard's count never got to the level of stopping chemo. I still have him on it and right now he is still within all normal ranges. He has been off of chemo since July, but has had to have 10 radiation treatments due to brain mets. Right now he is working full-time and doing well considering what he has been through this last year. God is good!

Bonnie and Howard

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Andriamycin may affect the heart. Consider using CoQ10

Here is an article from cancer.gov


caveat on the article below - I did a search on pubmed and there is not much research on CoQ10.

Inside Information on CoQ10

The Life Extension Foundation introduced Coenzyme QlO (CoQ10) to the United States in 1983. Since then, there have been hundreds of studies showing that CoQ10 is a safe and effective therapy for heart disease, cancer, immune depression, low energy and aging. Most Foundation members already know about the published reports documenting CoQ10's ability to prevent and treat the degenerative diseases of aging.

What members have not been privy to is "inside" information from physicians and scientists who have yet to publish the findings of their research on CoQ10.

Here Are the Latest Reports on CoQ10

Published studies have previously shown that CoQ10 protects heart muscle cells against adriamycin induced cardiomyopathy. Adriamycin is a popular cytotoxic drug used in cancer chemotherapy. These studies showed that a double dose of adriamycin could be administered in the presence of CoQ10 without encountering cardiac toxicity. What the study did not reveal was that only 10% of the cancer patients receiving CoQ10 and adriamycin were dead after three years, while 90% of the patients given adriamycin without CoQ10 were dead within 1.5 years! European oncologists are now using high doses of CoQ10 to put cancer patients into long term remissions. In studies in breast cancer patients, the results have been so astonishing that, after gathering more data, scientists expect to announce the cancer treatment breakthrough of the 20th century!

The Foundation has recommended a maximum dose of 400 mg a day of CoQ10 for patients with heart disease and cancer. European doctors are now using 600 mg a day of CoQ10 without encountering toxicity. Cancer patients should consider taking this higher dose of CoQ10.

Scientists have not yet determined the exact mechanism by which CoQ10 benefits cancer patients. Preliminary evidence indicates that CoQ10 may suppress the proliferation of cancer cells and boost immune factors that kill cancer cells.

CoQ10 is only effective in treating heart disease and chronic fatigue syndrome in those already deficient in CoQ10. About 16-18% of heart disease patients fail to respond to CoQ10 because they are not deficient in it. The same is true for 23-28% of chronic fatigue syndrome patients.

Those with heart disease who benefit from CoQ10, must continue taking it for the rest of their lives (just like other heart medications). When a study showed significant relapses in heart disease patients after CoQ10 was discontinued, the FDA tried to use this study to ban CoQ10 for not "curing" heart disease. Since no other cardiac medications "cure" heart disease, this is an example of the FDA's prejudice against natural therapies. Unlike cardiac drugs that work almost immediately, CoQ10 can take 60-to-90 days to produce a therapeutic effect. It also takes 60-to-90 days for the effects of CoQ10 to wear off. Some heart disease patients discontinue taking CoQ10 after they experience a dramatic improvement in their condition because they think they've been "cured". In reality, however, they are increasingly at risk of dying as their cellular levels of CoQ10 decline.

CoQ10 combined with Vitamin E protects LDL cholesterol against oxidation, which causes much of the arterial damage of atherosclerosis. CoQ10 dramatically extends vitamin E's ability to prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol. In patients with coronary artery atherosclerosis who take high doses of CoQ10 for 2-to-3 years, regressions of coronary artery blockage has been observed.

CoQ10 may by the most potent antioxidant found in mitochondria. CoQ10 is responsible for 95% of energy expenditure in some areas of our cells.

Psoriasis is a serious medical condition that does not always respond to conventional corticosteroid therapy. High dose coenzyme Q10 appears to be an effective therapy against psoriasis. It works by improving the immune profile of the skin.

CoQ10 is being looked at as a therapeutic for prostate cancer.

More scientific conferences are being planned to disseminate information about the role CoQ10 may play in the treatment of cancer.

For optimal health maintenance, healthy people over the age 40 should take at least 100 mg a day of absorbable CoQ10.

CoQ10 in an oil-base absorbs twice as well into the bloodstream as CoQ10 in powder form.

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