Pernicious Anaemia Society
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PA and chemotheropy

Dear all,

I was diagnosed with PA (+Intrinsic Factor) 2 years ago.

I am wondering if any of you have also been diagnosed with cancer and gone through chemotherapy? I would appreciate to hear of any experience with the treatment and possible imbalance with your levels, if also diagnosed with PA (also intrinsic factor +). I am undergoing chemotherapy (after breast cancer surgery), and suddenly also have raised TSH level (4,56)..., and now worried if there is a connection between this and the treatment??


9 Replies

No personal experience but there are some interactions between some chemotherapy drugs and B12 - need to look it all up as there is a possibility my mother may need to look at chemotherapy following a hysterectomy for cancer of the womb and she has B12 problems - and some aspects (needing to keep levels very high) are similar to my own experiences - so want to have looked into the subject before an appointment on Friday so I know what to ask about etc.

Will add a response if I come across anything relevant


Probably worth looking up to see if there are any interactions between the treatments you are being given - the exact chemicals in the chemo - and B12 - looking through info on those used to treat cancer of the womb some do seem to have an interaction with B12 ... and for some of the chemo combinations it even looks as if it can be common practice to treat with B12 to prevent neurological symptoms where these are listed in the potential side-effects.

Thyroid levels can also be affected by B12 levels as I know it is quite common for people to need to have levels of thyroid medication adjusted when they start B12 treatment.

Did have a brief look at the chemo combinations for breast cancer - cancer research website is very good and informative - but doesn't seem to be much overlap between the treatments for breast cancer and those for cancer of the womb

possible that there may be someone there who could be of more specific help


Thank you very much for your time and advice.

I shall look more into to, as my oncologist doesn´t seem to know about these issues and is mainly concerned that I get the chemo, no matter what, even though I´m a borderline case who could also have different preventive treatment.


Sorry, I've no experience of what you mention. But what I do know is that P.A. patients are more liable to stomach cancer than the general populatio'n, due to the low or no stomach acid that comes hand in hand with P.A. .I have read widely about P.A.and have never heard of a connection between cancer in general and the treatment for P.A.(B12 supplementation) Hope that someone can inform you. Best wishes.


I have not personally suffered but have observed people undergoing chemo which seems to affect the thyroid. When you think they use radio active iodine to treat over active thyroids to ablate it - it does illustrate the sensitivity of the gland. Your TSH level at the moment is in range - as far as most ranges are concerned - but does indicate your thyroid is struggling - anything more than 2 is usually the figure kind and understanding Docs go by. Maybe also have the FT4 tested to see what the Thyroid is producing and also the FT3 - which will tell you if the T4 is converting into the ACTIVE thyroid hormone T3. FT4 and FT3 need to be near the top of their ranges - bumping along the bottom will not help you to feel well.

A friend - undergoing treatment was feeling very low - and they wanted to treat her depression. I suggested a thyroid profile may indicate something - and yes it did. her thyroid was just not producing anything. Every cell in our body has a receptor for T3 as well as VitD3. Have you seen the website where the site owner Carole is a breast cancer survivor - and is passionate about VitD. Lots of helpful information should you be interested.

Am afraid - like PA/B12 Deficiency - we have to educate ourselves as Docs seem to have to adhere to Guidelines which are not designed to make us well.

I'm sorry to read you are battling breast cancer - I do wish you well....


Thank you so much for your advice and comfort - highly appreciated in the midst of it all.

I´ll look at the suggested website, but am already on a vit/min-regimen, based on studies, and amongst others I take a big dose of vit. D.

Hope to meet an expert endokrenologist who can explain and advise aswell.

Thank you!

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Do your research carefully with regards to an Endocrinologist.....most are experts in Diabetes :-( On Thyroid UK Louise Warvill - one of the Admins - has a list of Docs that are thyroid experts and she will send you the list. You can then research them yourself. They are mostly private I believe.



Will do - I live in Denmark though, so I don´t think that she would have expert names on Danish Endo Docs, maybe. But I shall definetely research more.

Thanks :-)


..of course - yes that would be the case - only UK Docs and Endos. But hey Denmark is only a quick flight away ! I live in Crete so can't help here either.


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