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low hemoglobin - does that mean cancer?


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Old 07-21-2017, 10:07 AM   #1
NSGirl40
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low hemoglobin - does that mean cancer?

Went for pre-op yesterday, and hemoglobins came back really low. My iron level is at 63 instead of the recommended 120. Surgery is this Wednesday so I had iron infusion today, and scheduled to repeat Monday and Tuesday. Surgeon is proceeding with surgery "in light of this". Too bad they hadn't tested my blood 2 months ago when they found the tumour. So yeah, freaking out a bit. Again. I don't really have any symptoms of low iron. Wasn't feeling lethargic or anything and so the nurses think its unrelated and been going on a while. Probly due to the last year of heavy periods. Thoughts?

 
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Old 07-22-2017, 06:18 AM   #2
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Re: low hemoglobin - does that mean cancer?

Heavy or prolonged periods can certainly cause iron deficiency. I know they typically want to get iron levels to a certain point before doing surgery since you will have some blood loss with surgery. Are they going to check your level right before surgery? Did they tell you what level they're wanting to see? Hemoglobin and hematocrit (part of the CBC test) are what they usually check for iron deficiency.

 
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Old 07-22-2017, 06:46 AM   #3
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Re: low hemoglobin - does that mean cancer?

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Originally Posted by STLouisgal View Post
Heavy or prolonged periods can certainly cause iron deficiency. I know they typically want to get iron levels to a certain point before doing surgery since you will have some blood loss with surgery. Are they going to check your level right before surgery? Did they tell you what level they're wanting to see? Hemoglobin and hematocrit (part of the CBC test) are what they usually check for iron deficiency.

 
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Old 07-22-2017, 06:49 AM   #4
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Re: low hemoglobin - does that mean cancer?

Thank you for your response. I feel so lost and alone in my feelings. No they didn't tell me where they would like to see my levels. But the nurse told me she expected it to be in the 70's by Tuesday. I understand it takes some time to build back the hemoglobins. The surgeon told me she is proceeding anyway, that she would test the levels on Tuesday and do a transfusion if necessary. Sounds so crazy scary.

 
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Old 07-22-2017, 08:04 AM   #5
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Re: low hemoglobin - does that mean cancer?

When I was young I had to take prescription iron due to heavy menstrual bleeding. My periods were 8-9 days and I used 2 large boxes of super Tampax. After going on birth control I went down to 5-6 days and one box. Heavy bleeding can really cause issues.

 
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Old 07-23-2017, 05:07 AM   #6
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Re: low hemoglobin - does that mean cancer?

One thing I'd forgotten. I didn't have low iron prior to surgery but discovered many months after the hysterectomy that my ferritin (stored iron) was quite low even though I was told I lost very little blood during surgery. I don't recall the status of my other levels.

 
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Old 07-24-2017, 03:35 AM   #7
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Re: low hemoglobin - does that mean cancer?

It's very scary indeed for you. I fully understand your worries but it does sound like the medical team are looking after, you in all respects.

Not long now until your surgery. Take a day at a time and try and do normal things. It's possible to get through this, I promise you.

 
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Old 07-24-2017, 09:16 AM   #8
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Re: low hemoglobin - does that mean cancer?

Thank you for your kind words. Fingers crossed - for us all. I will update after the surgery.

 
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