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Iron and Cancer

11 years 5 months ago #15915 by Julie
From our experience they tried many remedies before they ordered the iron infusion. It was necessary due to the long slow bleed that my husband had.
There is a concern that with too many blood transfusion there may be an iron overload. Then they chelate the blood to remove some of the iron.
When my husband was referred to a hematologist I found out that they were all oncologists also probably because most chemos affect the bone marrow and so many cancer patients have low counts during chemo.

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11 years 5 months ago #15912 by Patricia
Harley..you've done your homework...ask the questions about the other tests...but we do need iron to survive and they would only be doing the transfusion because his condition is pretty dire. ....he may have starved off any remaining cancer cells anyway since he has none in his bone marrow!! Pat

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11 years 5 months ago #15893 by harleygirl
I know most of the articles I've read about the relation between iron and cancer talk about HIGH levels of iron and iron SATURATION as being the condition that makes the cancer growth more likely. It has something to do with the way oxygen and iron react together causing free radicals. However, I can't seem to find any particular number associated with whatever is considered a SAFE iron level. One article I read even went so far as to say that when people received transfusions on the operating table or right after surgery, their chances of cancer occurence increased. And this was an article by a leading doctor at a leading cancer center.

I need to find out if any doctor has taken serum ferratin and transferrin saturation levels from his blood when they did bloodwork. Some doctors say those levels are more indicative of iron levels than just hemoglobin and hematocrit levels are.

Patricia, Rosemary and Julie, thank you for your replies. I'm thinking that with the bleeding going on for almost a year now and the fact that they used part of his intestines for the conduit which might mean absorption problems, maybe his iron stores are depleted. As for his oncologist knowing what he is doing...well, that's anybody's guess!

Dad is seeing the oncologist on Tuesday, the day before the iron infusion. Does anybody know of any questions that he should ask the doctor before he gets this infusion? Surely if the doctor knew about a link between iron and cancer, he wouldn't have ordered this for my Dad. One can only hope.

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11 years 5 months ago #15889 by Julie
My husband had an iron infusion 2 years ago and I don't think it fed his cancer. He couldn't absorb iron from iron pills and had lost his iron because of a slow bleed from his duodenum that wasn't found. Iron in the blood is what carries the oxygen to all the cells.
Medicare cut back on Procrit and Epogen because when they were used and people's hemoglobin was over 12 they had more heart problems. There was nothing said about iron.
For some people Procrit is necessary so to cut them off was like saying we are going to let you die.
My husband has been on Arnaesp or Progcrit for two years and they have cut back the dose so they don't let him get a higher hemoglobin than 11. He does this because he has a bone marrow disorder unrelated to his bladder cancer.
Cancer needs energy to grow, energy is what the blood delivers to our cells. Cancer cells are just more greedy.


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11 years 5 months ago #15882 by Rosemary
Harley,

One would hope that an oncologist would know of contraindications of iron and cancer. What I mean is, I hope that he know's what he's doing. Surely, he does???

I posted a thread a few weeks ago about Iron Supplements and cancer...

http://bladdercancersupport.org/smf/index.php?topic=2029.0

I think if it was my Dad I would look into this issue a little more at least until I felt comfortable with it...

Good luck,
Ro

Rosemary
Age - 55
T1 G3 - Tumor free 2 yrs 3 months
Dx January 2006

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11 years 5 months ago #15878 by Patricia
Well its more like the cancer cells are stealing his iron.......his condition needs to be treated.....check out this page...http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/iron-deficiency-anemia/DS00323/DSECTION=8
Hope this helps. Pat

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