How Does Colon Cancer Cause Anemia?

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You need plenty of healthy red blood cells to keep your body functioning well. Anemia (lack of red blood cells) can be attributed by lots of factors. In women, their menstruation periods often lead to deficiencies of iron and /or red blood cells. How about colon cancer? Can it cause anemia, too? Is so how?

Anemia symptoms and common causes of the problem

It is a term used when the body doesn’t have plenty of hemoglobin or healthy red blood cells. As well we know, cells of the body need continuously supply of oxygen to keep functioning well.

The heart plays a key role to distribute oxygen and essential nutrients throughout the body. It pumps blood poor in oxygen to the lungs, and then the blood will bind oxygen in the lungs. Then the rich-oxygen blood will be pumped again by heart and eventually distributed throughout the body.

To bind oxygen, your blood needs plenty of hemoglobin. Hemoglobin itself is the main part of red blood cells.

Therefore, if you have red blood cells deficiency, your body usually also doesn’t have plenty of hemoglobin. As a result, you may experience some of the following symptoms:

  1. Tiredness, weakness, or lack of energy feeling.
  2. You may also experience dizziness or even headache.
  3. Change in the skin, especially such as pale skin.
  4. Changes in body temperature, such as low body temperature, coldness in feet or /and hands.
  5. Numbness, typically in feet or /and hands.

In general, the symptoms can vary. In severe case, anemia may also lead to serious or even life-threatening symptoms such as chest pain and trouble breathing.

image_illustration345Again, the problem can be attributed by many factors. But the following are common factors to remember:

  1. Older adults are at high risk. Because they are also at high risk of having other medical conditions that can attribute to cause anemia.
  2. Women at childbearing age. Many times, menstrual bleeding often leads to iron-deficiency anemia, the most common form or anemia. Pregnancy has an effect, too. In fact, the body is more likely to need more blood supply during pregnancy.
  3. There are also some types of anemia that link to a genetic trait (hereditary condition). Therefore, some infants may already be affected at the time of their birth. One of these anemia types is sickle cell disease. If you have a family history of this anemia, you are also at high risk to have the same problem in the future.

Other conditions that can contribute to lead to the problem include:

  1. Problems in the intestines. Your intestines play a key role to absorb essential nutrients from foods you have eaten. And to make adequate red blood cells, you need plenty of nutrients such as vitamins and minerals. Therefore anemia is pretty common in people with intestinal disorders such as celiac disease (gluten allergy) and Crohn’s disease.
  2. Some chronic problems! Many times, chronic conditions such as kidney failure, liver problem, ulcers, and cancer can trigger red blood cells deficiency.
  3. Other problems, these may include excessive exposure to toxic chemicals, autoimmune problems, blood diseases, and certain infections.

How does colon cancer cause anemia?

Changes in bowel movement, abdominal pain, and blood found in /on the stool are the main symptoms –see more these colon cancer symptoms in here! And anemia in people with bowel cancers (including cancers of colon and rectum) is also pretty common.

If your anemia is caused by a colon cancer, you usually experience lethargy or fatigue. Typically, anemia related to cancer in the bowel is iron deficiency anemia. This can cause extremely tired-feeling. You may also have other symptoms such as weakness and shortness of breath.

A challenging question – how does this problem occur in people with bowel cancers?

Colon cancer can cause anemia in many different ways. But in general, the cancer itself and some cancer treatments may be the main causes.

The following are some possible ways of how bowel cancers cause anemia!


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