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What cancer treatments give you a low blood platelet count?

A:

Quick Answer

Both chemotherapy and radiation therapy are known to cause a low blood platelet count, according to Mayo Clinic. However, low platelet counts caused by these treatment options are usually temporary, Cancer.Net states.

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Full Answer

Both chemotherapy and radiation therapy can have an adverse effect on a patient's bone marrow, states Mayo Clinic. The bone marrow is responsible for producing blood cells and platelets and is very sensitive to both of these treatments. Both therapies may kill bone marrow in a patient's bones, especially if the target of the therapy is where a majority of a patient's bone marrow is located, such as the pelvis or legs. However, bone marrow cells grow quickly, and blood cell counts should return to normal after a short time.

It is important for patients undergoing either chemotherapy or radiation therapy to keep up with their whole blood counts, according to Mayo Clinic. Keeping track of patients' blood cell counts helps doctors prevent or reduce the risk of certain conditions, such as anemia, that could delay further cancer treatment. Eating a balanced diet is one way patients can maintain healthy blood cell counts. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables provides the body with the vitamins and minerals it needs to heal after receiving cancer treatments. Patients should also get plenty of rest and avoid injury and germs whenever possible.

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