If you have cancer, you may be unaware of the role that iron deficiency anemia frequently plays in the disease. This type of anemia occurs when the body is unable to produce enough hemoglobin, a substance found in red blood cells that transports oxygen, due to a lack of iron. According to a study published in the journal PLOS ONE in March 2015, people with iron deficiency anemia have a significantly higher overall cancer risk than those who do not, and the risk of pancreatic, kidney, liver, and bladder cancers is significantly increased even up to five years after the iron deficiency is diagnosed.
On the other hand, all cancer types are associated with an increased risk of developing iron-deficiency anemia, though the risk is higher in certain cancer types. And the consequences of iron deficiency anemia can be especially severe in cancer patients, potentially interfering with treatment and lowering survival chances.
Here's what you need to know about detecting and treating iron deficiency anemia when you have cancer, as well as how the two conditions are linked.
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