In Italy the prevalence of anemia in cancer patients has only been indirectly drawn from clinical studies, and a direct estimation has never been made. Methods. This is the first nation-wide survey on the prevalence of anemia in cancer patients in Italy. In 193 Centres, clinical data were collected on consecutive patients with non-myeloid malignancies entering a new cycle of chemotherapy during a reference week in 1997. Results. A total of 1763 patients has been recruited. At the time of enrolment grade I-II anemia was observed in 56% of patients, although only 1% showed severe anemia. Most of the patients (73%) experienced a decrease of haemoglobin level following treatment completion. Drop of haemoglobin correlated with a more advanced stage of the disease and with a lower performance status at baseline. Conclusion. Anemia is an increasingly common complication in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Improving our knowledge on occurrence of anemia and the type of neoplasms and chemotherapies which are more likely to be associated with this complication may allow the adoption of specific measures to prevent the development of anemia and to avoid the need of blood transfusion in these patients.
|Translated title of the contribution||The prevalence of anemia in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy: A nation-wide survey in Italy|
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Recenti Progressi in Medicina|
|Publication status||Published - Oct 2001|
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