When you have too few red blood cells, your body tissues don't get enough oxygen to do their work. This condition is called anemia. You may have these symptoms:
- Fatigue or weakness
- A tendency to feel cold
- Shortness of breath
- A racing heart rate
Your doctor will check your blood cell count (also called a complete blood count) often during your treatment. If your red blood cell count falls too low, you may need a blood transfusion or treatment with a growth factor to boost the number of red blood cells your bone marrow makes.
- Less obvious symptoms include mental difficulties such as confusion and depression, unusual cravings such as the desire to chew ice, restless leg syndrome, sexual dysfunction or roaring in the ears.
- If your anemia is causing fatigue:
- Report your symptoms to your doctor or nurse.
- See Survivorship A to Z's information for tips on coping with fatigue.