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Ovarian cancer, blood transfusion - Online Doctor Chats

Date : 21-Feb-2012
User rating for this question
Very Good Posted in: Cervical and Ovarian Cancer
Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2004
Answered : 1773 Questions
User :   My Mom received chemo (Gemzar/Carboplatin) on 2/15 and her hemoglobin was 9.2, but it had dropped to 8.0 by 2/17. She was given 2 units of blood on 2/18 but today 2/19 she is really tired and sleepy. Ran a low grade fever last night 99.9. Should a blood transfusion make you tire and sleepy.
Doctor :   Hi
Doctor :   I am
User :   thanks for taking time to help with my question,
Doctor :   Hi , May I ask you a few questions pertaining to your mom's problem ?
User :   sure
Doctor :   May I know her age and if she has been taking this for Ovarian or Breast cancer ?
User :   79, taking it for ovarian
Doctor :   Ok.
Doctor :   The most common side effect of any chemotherapy is Bone marrow depletion or dysplasia and hence anemia.
Doctor :   I understand from your notes that Your mother's hemoglobin is 8.0 when last seen , which would be the major cause for tiredness and sleepiness and from the transfusion she might have got the low grade fever due to some antigen-antibod reactions which is very common though you give the same blood group or rh factor.
Doctor :   I feel she will be fine in a day or two regarding the fever part.
User :   OK, so you think this will pass. She has O- and I know they said they had a harder time getting the right match. She had a transfusion back in Nov. and she felt really good after that.
Doctor :   Ok.
Doctor :   After a while she will surely feel better.
Doctor :   Not to worry about this as it is a temporary phase of fever or tiredness.
Doctor :   My major concern would be how well she is responding to chemo and how is the metastasis , is it self limiting or has it been curtailed.
User :   The ovarian cancer marker was 1361 back in 9/2010, 114 in 12/2010 and 26 in 2/2011 so that looks good. She has also been experiencing some chest pains that last for about 5 min. but if she sits down and rests it goes away. They have checked her heart and that looks good also. She also has a tumor on the pancreas that they think may be pushing on the celiac (?) nerve and causing the chest pain. However, when they did the pancreatic cancer marker in 9/2010 it was 37 . No other CT scan has been done since 9/2010
User :   Sorry, know I am trying to get a lot in on this session.
User :   They suggested she may have to have a celiac nerve block if the pain continues and perhaps Procrit to keep her hemoglobin up.
Doctor :   So please do not worry about the ovarian cancer as the cancer marker index is showing good signs.
User :   Thas is a good thing on the ovarian cancer and good that her heart looks good and strong. Our concern now is the chest pain and the low hemoglobin
Doctor :   And about the celiac nerve block would be very helpful if it has been identified as the etiological factor.
Doctor :   Procrit is a iron rich syrup and will do good.
User :   Can you explain etiological? So it looks like they are on the right track?
Doctor :   I Feel she will be absolutely fine soon , but you have to be a little geared up as the carboplatin causes myelosuppression and the hemoglobin level may further fall down.
Doctor :   after subsequent chemos.
Doctor :   so give her iron rich food, more fruits,beet root, green leaves, spruots.
Doctor :   And do not worry a blood transfusion helps a lot , but will take 2-3 days to adjst.
Doctor :   Dont worry
Doctor :   take care
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