Welcome to Medivizor!

You're browsing our sample library. Feel free to continue browsing. You can also sign up for free to receive medical information specific to your situation.

Posted by on Oct 20, 2015 in Breast cancer | 0 comments

In a nutshell

The authors aimed to determine whether anemia could negatively affect survival from breast cancer.

Some background

Anemia is described as a lack of hemoglobin; this is the iron found in our blood. Iron in the blood has several functions, including the transport of oxygen. Anemia can be commonly associated with cancer and is thought to negatively affect prognosis (outlook).

Previous studies have evaluated the overall risk of anemia on survival. It is not understood, however, whether anemia can impact survival following surgery.

Methods & findings

The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of anemia on overall survival rates from breast cancer. Anemia was evaluated in 2123 women who were due to undergo breast surgery. These surgeries included mastectomies (removal of the entire breast) or breast-conserving surgery (removal of the breast cancer only). Anemia was defined as having a blood hemoglobin concentration lower than 12 g/dL. 

Out of all the patients, 25% were considered amemic. Of these, 18% were stage I, 24% were stage II and 37% were stage III breast cancer.

After 5 years, cancer recurrence was observed in 7.3% of the anemic patients compared to only 1.4% of the non-anemic patients. 12.1% of anemic patients had their cancer spread to the lymph nodes, compared to 2.5% of non-anemic patients. 26.7% of anemic patients developed a distant metastasis (the cancer had spread to other organs) compared to 7.9% of non-anemic patients.

The mortality rate was significantly increased in the anemic group (24.5%) compared to 7.7% of those in the non-anemic group.

2,104 women out of the total group had mild anemia, however, survival rates were still significantly shorter than those without anemia.

The bottom line

The authors concluded that pre-operative anemia had a significantly negative effect on breast cancer survival.

What’s next?

One common treatment for people with anemia is iron therapy. Your doctor will advise you on the best course of action if you begin to develop this deficiency.

Published By :

BMC cancer

Date :

Nov 19, 2014

Original Title :

Impact of preoperative anemia on relapse and survival in breast cancer patients.

click here to get personalized updates