12th World Cancer Conference
National Hospital Abuja
Title: Anaemia in cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy: Our experience at the National Hospital Abuja, Nigeria
Biography: Chinedu S Aruah
Introduction: More than 50% of cancer patients will receive radiotherapy in the course of their therapy. Anaemia is the most common haematological complication in cancer patients. The cut-off value for anaemia varies from centre to centre, but Hb of 10 g/dl is a borderline value and administration of radiotherapy without adequate haematological support may tilt the patient into clinical anaemia.
Objective: To study the impact of radiotherapy on the haemoglobin level of cancer patients undergoing therapy.
Materials & Methods: A total of 63 patients with solid tumours with intent for radical treatment were recruited within a period of 8 months. Informed consent of participants was obtained and demographic characteristics of the cancer patients and their various oncologic diseases were gathered. Baseline or pretreatment Haemoglobin (Hb) was measured on the first day of consultation. Patients were simulated and treated with linear accelerator. Their Hb level was measured once every 2 weeks during therapy. The blood film pictures of the patients were examined in the course of treatment. The whole process was terminated after 3 consecutive Hb reading or after week 6. Anaemia was classified for this study into: Less than 10 g/dl-severe anaemia; 10–10.9 g/dl -moderate anaemia; 11–12 g/dl-mild anaemia;> 12 g/dl-no anaemia (Normal)
Results & Data Analysis: Data collected was analyzed using a standard statistical package for social science (SPSS) version 10. Out of 63 cancer patients, 92.1% were female and 7.9% were male. Age range was 25–75 years, with median age of 50 years. Breast 47.6% (30) was commonest site of tumour. 74.6% (47) presented with stage III disease. Prevalence of anaemia in the study was 42.9%. At the end of therapy, 55.6% (63) cancer patients had their Hb level between 11.52–12.13 g/dl. At P-value > 0.05 there was no statistical significance on distribution of mean Hb, standard deviation based on sex and treatment type.
Conclusion & recommendation: Prevalence of anaemia in cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy was 42.9% as shown by the blood film. However, at 95% confidence interval (95CI) radiotherapy had no significant impact on Hb level, hence Hb: 11.52 –12.13 g/dl at the end of therapy. We recommend Hb of 11 g/dl as irreducible minimum level for cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy in Nigeria Oncology Centres.