Anemia on carboplatin

I am heading towards my last dose of chemo in 3 weeks and want to do everything I can to have my haemoglobin in the right place in case it's cancelled. It's been dropping a gram each cycle and I am down to 10.4 (normal12-15).i am eating steak and black pudding , going to give liver a try. I asked the nurses about iron supplements but their responses were vague. My platlets were off last time so infusion cancelled.for them I had spinnach kale and pommegates juiced with orange and I went for 75 -200 in a week .not sure if that was a fluke but will try it again. So iron supplements or not what has been your experience?

12 Replies

  • I was told by my Chemo team nothing will change it. It's down to your body and when it's ready. I've seen some people get a transfusion if things get very low but normally they wait a week and then try again. Fingers crossed for you. Xxx

  • This happened to me twice. When I questioned about my diet and what can I go to improve things I was told nothing. My body is dealing with the brutal effects of chemo and only time can heal.. some people manage ok and others take a little longer to recover. I wish you all the best and try not to stress over it you just need a longer recovery time. Big hug Michelle x

  • HI Bonnie, Kale and spinach are full of iron so I imagine it cant do you any harm indeed, also brocolli and liver is good. I think the team prefer you to have the bloods return with diet rather than supplements because more than likely iron supplements such tabs would interfere with you treatment, So in all you are doing brilliantly, I have heard the nurses in my unit mention liver too and they dont encourage supplements although we feel we could do with them,, I am sure you will be fine doing what you are doing, also have a rest every day.

  • Carbo made my iron low too. Its normal and 10 isn't that bad. I did have a blood transfusion on my 2nd or third chemo due to low count and bounced right back and never had another problem. I'm sure you will too once carbo is over.

  • Hi,

    There's nothing you can do to bring your platelet count up but as you can see from last time they usually bounce back on their own. As for the Hb, if it's causing fatigue you can ask for a blood transfusion, it depends on your unit and what their limits are (mine was 86 and it didn't prevent treatment) it was my nurse who suggested it. They said that 'treatment isn't supposed to prevent you from doing day-to-day activities' I had a couple of units of blood and after a few days the effects were amazing. Be careful if taking iron supplements as they can affect your bowel habits and I find constipation much worse than anemia. It's much better to do it naturally, with dark green veg etc. another one is beetroot and plenty of rest are the best way, good luck with your last treatment.

  • I was recommended to take 400mg of magnesium twice a day. It did the trick

  • Corn beef is high in iron too my magnesium is low and I'm trying everything to boost it diet wise... My view is that it won't hurt to try to build yourself up with food ... All the best for your last treatment 👏🏻

  • Hello Bonnie, I had chemo on Thursday but that my haemoglobin level is now at 8.1. I will have a blood test on Wednesday and if it's still down I will have to get blood on Thursday. From what I could gather taking iron won't be of much help because the root of the problem is chemo that's affecting the bone marrow. I hope I don't have to get blood, although I'm feeling very tired. Best wishes. D.

  • Don't be afraid of a transfusion. It doesn't hurt and the results, at least for me, were dramatic. Before the transfusion I could not walk a block without stopping for air. my vision was blurry as well. That all disappeared after the transfusion

  • I just finished 6 rounds of Carboplatin and all my bloods were okay but my hemoglobin steadily went done. I ate lots of iron rich foods but it didn't help. I also asked about iron supplements and after round six the doctor said I could take one. It was called Gentleabsorb. I think they hesitate because iron can be rough on your stomach and cause constipation and I think we have enough if that. At any rate, it did not help. Just two days ago when I went for my final bloodwork and onc visit, my bloodcounts went wild. I was rushed to the hospital for a blood transfusion and a shot of Neulasta. My platelets were so low, 18, and I had to go back to check my blood the next day. That was yesterday. I had a vacation to Spain planned for Monday (I'm in the US). The doctor said when the platelets come back they come roaring back and they had gone up to 30. So I got the go ahead and coincidentally got bumped up to first class. I had a happy ending - no cancer on my scan and my CA125 at 7! It was very scary and all just side effects of the Carboplatin or any chemo drug. Don't be afraid if they need to give you a transfusion. I felt instantly better and thanks for reminding me about the pomegranate. It's 6Am here and as soon as the stores open I will get some juice. Best of luck.

  • Dear one, why isn't your doctor giving you iron infusion or iron supplements? Iron infusion is given when you have very low iron otherwise you can take over the counter supplement.

    At the same time ask about taking vitamins D 3 and B. He can check those levels with a blood test. Also people that take probotics before/ during chemo do much better. May The Lord guide you. Do you know The Lord Jesus?

  • It's worth being aware that with either diet or supplements, iron is only absorbed when eaten along with something rich in vitamin c... Sx

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