Neutropenia amplifies your risk of suffering a fatal infection. Being that neutrophils are major stakeholders in your defense against bacteria, a dwindling neutrophil count makes you extremely vulnerable to fungal and bacterial infection.
Typically, when a patient’s neutrophil density drops from 0.5 to 0.1 x 109/L, the patient’s risk of death from an infection correspondingly leaps from 19% to 28%. Alarming?
The disruption neutropenia introduces into a cancer patient’s original treatment plan is worth worrying about. When neutropenia sets in, the physician would be forced to slash the dosage of the chemotherapy, or in some extremely severe cases, entirely stop the treatment.
This abrupt cessation or reduction in the chemo medication aims to give the patient’s system enough time to pump up their infection-combating white blood cell.
Sadly, such a pause triggers a faster development of the cancer cells, effectively downsizing the patient’s chances of surviving the cancer.
Studies have revealed that when your provider reduces your chemo doses for some specific types of cancer, the cure rate is reduced as well. Similarly, when the windows between treatment procedures (in your plan) lengthen, the cure rate diminishes too.
It is almost appearing like choosing between the devil and the deep blue sea (cancer or neutropenia), isn’t it? The good news is clinicians have come up with effective ways to reduce the occurrence of chemotherapy-induced neutropenia.
With the religious application of these strategies, the patient’s risk of suffering an infection, fever, delays in treatment, or even ultimately getting hospitalized, is appreciably reduced.
Eager to learn about these strategies? We will tell you.