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Anaemia and HT

Posted 31 Oct 2022 at 12:27

I started on 3 years Zoladex in 2015 (included in that was 2 yrs abiraterone, enzalutimide &prednisolone) plus 37 sessions of RT. Treatment finished 2018.

It seems that I've had 'chronic anaemia' since 2017. I do think the chronic makes it sounds worse than it is. Prior to everything pretty sure I didn't suffer from anaemia. Whilst on treatment these it's accepted that certain effects happen, tiredness certainly one of them. 

As treatment 'effects' will have disappeared now (those that do disappear) my gp/haemotology looking to see if any  underlying reason for the anaemia. Had relevant blood tests, waiting for the analysis and, as it happens, had a follow up colonoscopy fairly recently which should have revealed any issues there.

Has anyone any experience of HT causing anaemia in the long term?



Posted 31 Oct 2022 at 13:32

HT does reduce hemoglobin levels. This may be because women have slightly lower normal hemoglobin levels and it drops you to those, but that's a guess as no one has researched it. Pelvic radiotherapy also reduces your hemoglobin levels, probably because your pelvis contains a significant proportion of your bone marrow and it takes a hit. This usually recovers within a couple of months of the RT.

Looking at my data, my hemoglobin dropped as expected when starting hormone injections, and more during radiotherapy. I'm now almost 2 years after finishing HT and a year after getting my Testosterone back. My hemoglobin has recovered about half of what it dropped. Not had enough blood tests to tell if it's still improving, or if that will be it (next one will be February). So I do wonder if the treatments might result in a permanent drop.

Lack of iron or of Vitamin B12 can also cause anaemia, but hopefully they'll be testing those levels. I don't suggest you change any off-prescription supplements while they're investigating.

Also make sure they check your Testosterone level - if that's low, that might also hold your hemoglobin at female levels.

Posted 31 Oct 2022 at 15:15
Thanks, yes, what you say certainly happened to me re haemoglobin levels etc. The gp actually said that my current levels/symptoms are maybe what a pregnant woman or one with heavy periods may experience but no sign of blood 'going elsewhere'. He said it may well be a lasting effect or may just prescribe iron/b12 (think those levels were a bit low but not too much) but they'll check other things first, which I am grateful for.

I, luckily, only have annual phone consultation with oncologist or representative, in December, so I may ask then. Testosterone was checked about 12 months of so ago maybe more but that had well returned to normal. Afraid I'm not one for keeping all sorts of readings so don't know how much blood readings fell.

Thanks again


Posted 02 Nov 2022 at 20:17

I have had a blood test regarding anaemia I have borderline red blood count.

Posted 02 Nov 2022 at 20:41
Just to note that "chronic" in medical terms just means "lasting for a long time". It doesn't imply that a condition is serious.



Posted 03 Nov 2022 at 18:34
Yes thanks for comments. I remember my red blood cell count is below normal plus a couple of other results were below normal but not greatly so and they don't seem to be 'falling'. Got results of the tests I had done Monday the following morning tho I'm not one to check via Google what they mean (there are a lot of them) I'll wait for medical people to advise.

The GP did explain that although 'chronic' sounds bad it is just as you say Chris don't know why can't just describe it as long standing of something.


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