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Low Platelets and Cancer

When required, platelets assist in stopping bleeding. For instance, platelets cause blood cells to clump together or clot when you cut yourself. In order for the cut blood vessels to heal, this seals them off. Normal platelet levels in the blood are essential for good health. Adults should have between 150,000 and 450,000 platelets per microliter of blood as their normal platelet count. Low platelets and cancer is the important issue to discuss. 

Thrombocytopenia is the medical term meaning low platelet count. A platelet count below 50,000 is considered a low platelet count. If your platelet count is low, you could bleed or bruise more easily than usual. A platelet count of less than 20,000 is extremely low. If it’s this low, you can start bleeding even if you aren’t hurt.

Thrombocytopenia symptoms are also found in pregnancy. As per BMT Hematology doctors, the affected will face the following issues: 

Bleeding from the gums while brushing. 

  • Fatigue. 
  • Nose bleeding. 
  • Blood in the urine. 
  • Bleeding under the skin.    

Low platelets and cancer are strongly connected. Cancer is a condition when bacteria grow in the body’s cells and spread to other areas of the human body. A common negative effect of cancer and treatment is a low platelet count. Your levels of certain blood cells can decrease while you have cancer or are undergoing cancer treatment. This may be spontaneously brought on by chemotherapy and some radiation treatments. Some cancer treatments may slow the formation of platelets in the bone marrow. 

Until your low platelet count returns to a normal or safe level, your doctor could decide to put off radiation therapy or chemotherapy. Bone marrow cancer is another factor that contributes to low platelet counts. The platelet count of cancer patients can even go below 20,000.

Numerous cancers are treated with chemotherapy, which can affect the bone marrow and lower platelet counts. Blood cells produced by your bone marrow have a rapid growth rate and are extremely vulnerable to chemotherapy. 

Many of the cells in your bone marrow are killed by chemotherapy, but the cells eventually regenerate. However, chemotherapy can temporarily lower platelet counts. Chemotherapy rarely permanently harms the cells in the bone marrow. The minimum platelet count for chemotherapy treatment needs a platelet count of between 20,000 and 50,000. 

Some cancers have a more direct relationship with thrombocytopenia due to the involvement of the bone marrow, a weakened immune system, or an enlarged spleen.

Colon Cancer and Platelet Count:

The increased risk brought on by an elevated platelet count varies depending on the kind of cancer, with stomach, colon, and lung cancers the most concern. Oxaliplatin is platinum commonly used to treat colon cancer, among other malignancies. It can cause thrombocytopenia through different mechanisms. 

A sudden, isolated platelet drop should raise concerns about oxaliplatin-induced thrombocytopenia and prompt drug discontinuation. This usually happens about a week after chemotherapy and goes away by the next cycle of chemotherapy.

Ways to increase platelets in cancer patients:

Food: Some vitamins and minerals can raise a person’s platelet count naturally.

  • Foods high in folate (vitamin B9) include liver, shellfish, beans, peanuts, and green leafy vegetables.
  • Low platelet counts might result from a vitamin B12 deficiency. Vitamin B-12, C, D, and K-rich foods include beef, poultry, fish, citrus fruits, potatoes, egg yolks, and cereals. Eating sufficient vitamin K can maintain the body’s capacity to stop bleeding.
  • Meals high in iron, such as poultry, pork, and red meat. Increasing your iron consumption can help you increase your platelet levels naturally.

Supplements: Also certain supplements can increase platelet counts. Before using a new supplement, it is necessary to consult a doctor because some may worsen certain conditions or have unfavorable interactions with other medications or supplements.

  • Chlorella is an algae-based supplement that helps in the synthesis of platelets and is high in chlorophyll.
  • Studies have shown the little impact of papaya leaf extract (PLE) on platelet count in patients with chemotherapy-induced thrombocytopenia. According to reports, this fruit’s high enzyme content greatly boosts the activity of an enzyme necessary for bone marrow’s generation of platelets.

Can stress cause low platelets? 

No specific study has been conducted on whether stress increases or decreases platelet count. In some cases, chronic mental stress and anxiety have been shown to lower platelet counts. According to extensive research, mental stress increases platelet activation and reactivity. Clear conclusions have not yet been determined.

Wrapping up!

Low platelets and cancer treatment have to be taken care of crucially. Hematology BMT Institute International is a renowned Medical Institute led by Doctor S.K. Gupta. The doctor is an expert in treating lymphoma, leukemia, and aplastic anemia. You can get in touch with doctors to know more about low platelets and cancer.

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