Medical University of South Carolina Hospital logo
Home |  Video Library | Podcast Library | e-Newsletters | Classes & Events | About Us | News Blog | University & Colleges 
Contact Us | 843-792-1414
  

Patients & Visitors

Medical Services

Maps & Parking

Health Library

Physician Portal

Careers

Online Services
Health Library
Health Topics A to Z
Clinical Trials & Research
Tests & Procedures
Lab Tests & Results
Health Assessment Tools
Symptom Checker
Health e-Newsletters
Podcast Library
Video Library
Health Library
Bookmark Page icon Bookmark |

Print this page icon

|

E-mail icon

Health Library : Cancer Center

 

Cancer Treatment - Bone Marrow Suppression and Chemotherapy

The side effects of chemotherapy depend on the type of chemotherapy and the amount given. Anticipating and managing side effects can help to minimize them and provide the best possible experience for the person receiving chemotherapy.

What is bone marrow suppression?

As each person's individual medical profile and diagnosis is different, so is his or her reaction to treatment. Side effects may be severe, mild, or absent. Be sure to discuss with your cancer care team the possible side effects of treatment before the treatment begins.

Nearly all chemotherapy agents suppress the bone marrow which, in turn, causes a reduction in the number of blood cells. The timing of this reduction varies according to which agents and doses are used for your treatment. Red blood cells carry oxygen, white blood cells fight infection, and platelets help to control bleeding and bruising. Thus, the risks for anemia, fatigue, infection, bleeding, and bruising are increased with bone marrow suppression.

What are the symptoms of bone marrow suppression?

The following are the most common symptoms of bone marrow suppression. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently.

Symptoms of a low red blood cell count may include:

  • Fatigue
  • Paleness of skin, lips, and nail beds
  • Increased heart rate
  • Easy tiring with exertion
  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath

Symptoms of a low white blood cell count only occur if an infection results from the low count, and may include:

  • Fever and chills
  • Rash
  • Diarrhea
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • An area that is warm to touch

Symptoms of a low platelet count may include:

  • Easy bruising
  • Bleeding: nosebleeds, gums, or mouth
  • Tiny red spots on the skin
  • Blood in the urine
  • Dark or black bowel movements

The symptoms of bone marrow suppression may resemble other medical conditions or problems. Always consult your doctor for a diagnosis.

Click here to view the
Online Resources of Cancer Center


 Sources & References

OUR SERVICES

 Find an MUSC Doctor:
 »Hematology/Oncology


 Treatment at MUSC:
 »Hollings Cancer Center

 

RELATED INFORMATION

 Interactive Tools:
 »Breast Cancer Risk Factors

About This Site   |   Disclaimer   |  Privacy   |   Accessibility   |   Donations   |   Site Map
171 Ashley Avenue, Charleston, SC 29403 1.843.792.1414 | © 2014 Medical University of South Carolina

mobile web site iconrss feed iconText Messaging iconPodcast Library