Basketball Pro Leads Fight to Increase Awareness of Chemotherapy-Related Anemia

July, 2004, Detroit, MI When basketball star Edna Campbell was diagnosed with breast cancer nearly three years ago, she knew that she would need to re-direct her energy from professional basketball to fight her deadly disease. But breast cancer was not Edna's only challenge. She also had to battle anemia a debilitating side effect of chemotherapy treatment that affects 71 percent of chemotherapy patients.

On July 13, Campbell visited the Newland Medical Associates cancer clinic of Southfield , MI , to talk about her experience with breast cancer, anemia, and her involvement in Rebound from Anemia, a national campaign developed to educate and motivate the millions of people at risk for anemia to seek diagnosis and treatment.

In 2003, Campbell joined the Rebound from Anemia team to help educate cancer patients about chemotherapy-related anemia.

"When I was receiving chemotherapy, I felt extremely fatigued. At times, I couldn't lift my head off my pillow," said Campbell. "I spoke to my doctor about how I was feeling, and after a simple blood test, I was diagnosed with anemia. With treatment, my energy increased and I could go back to doing the things I love. It wasn't long before I could get back on the basketball court."

Anemia is a debilitating condition that occurs when the body does not produce enough red blood cells, which carry oxygen. Oxygen acts like fuel for the body, providing energy for muscles and organs to work. Common symptoms include extreme fatigue, shortness of breath, dizziness, decreased ability to concentrate and sleeplessness.

"Patients should talk to their healthcare professionals about how they'refeeling especially if they feel exhausted or can't do everyday tasks. Many patients don't realize that anemia can be treated with medication" said Lyle Goldman, MD, Newland Medical Associates.

Exhaustion is the most frequent and significant symptom patients experience while undergoing chemotherapy, according to a Harris Interactive Survey. In fact, 60 percent of cancer patients say that tiredness or exhaustion has had the greatest impact on their daily lives, more than nausea, pain or depression.

More than five in ten (54%) patients who experienced exhaustion report that it prevented or significantly interfered with their ability to accomplish daily activities and seven in ten (70%) say their daily activities are less enjoyable as a result of feeling exhausted. In addition, a majority of patients indicate that they are not well informed about anemia. Fifty percent of cancer patients surveyed indicate that they are only moderately informed about anemia, and 10 percent say they are not at all informed about the condition.

Source: Ortho Biotech Products, L.P.

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