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Do you know the commin complications of cancer? -Lynn E.


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When most people think of cancer they think of problems due to the growth and spread of the cancer as well as side effects of treatments. Yet some lesser talked about cancer complications can take a big toll - or even cause death. Since some of these symptoms can mimic those of treatment side effects, it's important to be aware of them.

What are some of these complications?

Blood clots affect up to 15% of people with cancer and are commonly associated with bedrest, prolonged travel, or surgery.

Recognizing and Preventing Blood Clots with Cancer

Hypercalcemia - that is, an elevated calcium level in the blood occurs in 10 to 15% of people with cancer, and cause symptoms ranging from nausea to coma and death.

Hypercalcemia in People with Cancer

Cachexia - or wasting syndrome. Cachexia is best understood as the kind of weight loss and muscle wasting that occurs even if someone is taking in enough calories. It's felt to be the cause of roughly 20% of cancer deaths.

Cancer Cachexia

A low white blood cell count can result in serious or fatal infections.

Neutropenia and Chemotherapy

That's just a beginning and a very incomplete list, but the important take away is to ask your oncologist about any potential emergencies you should be concerned about, and what symptoms to watch for. It's sad enough when people pass away due to their cancer, but heartbreaking when death occurs due to complications that are potentially very treatable or preventable in the first place.

-Lynn Elridge

http://lungcancer.about.com/b/2013/10/3 ... r.htm?nl=1

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