WHAT TYPE OF CANCER CAUSES LOW HEMOGLOBIN – Cancer patients frequently experience anaemia, low haemoglobin or red blood cell count. Anaemia-causing cancer-related variables include tumour-related internal bleeding, altered haemoglobin synthesis, and chemotherapy adverse effects.

Your healthcare provider might look into a cancer diagnosis if you have anaemia without a known reason. Low haemoglobin levels are frequently linked to blood malignancies, bone cancer, cancer of the colon, & cervical cancer.

If you’re here to learn more about “WHAT TYPE OF CANCER CAUSES LOW HEMOGLOBIN” then continue reading!

The kinds of cancer connected to low haemoglobin are discussed in this article. Additionally, it describes how anaemia symptoms can be brought on by cancer and how to recognise these signs.

Cancer and Anaemia are Related

The medical word for having lower-than-normal haemoglobin levels is anaemia. Red blood cells contain the iron-rich protein haemoglobin level, which transports oxygen throughout your cells.1

Anaemia Symptoms are frequently one of the initial indications of cancer, particularly colon cancer or cancers that affect the blood, such leukemia or lymphoma. Your doctor may suggest colon cancer screening or other testing if you have anaemia without a recognised cause (including heavy monthly bleeding).

A few types of cancer & cancer treatments are linked to the three primary reasons for low haemoglobin levels: blood loss, reduced red blood cell formation, and elevated levels of red blood cell destruction.1

Low haemoglobin levels compromise the body’s ability to transport oxygen to its tissues. If your anaemia is severe, this could result in anaemia symptoms, including weariness, shortness of breath, as well as unconsciousness.

Severe anaemia that goes untreated can result in symptoms including depression, heart issues like arrhythmia and enlarged hearts, and a higher risk of infection.3

Cancer’s Effect on Red Blood Cells

Cancer can impact red blood cell synthesis and storage in several ways. These consist of

Blood loss: Tumors may bleed, which results in blood loss. This is particularly true in the case of colon cancer.

Replacement of the bone marrow: Some malignancies, including lymphomas or breast cancer metastases, can enter the bone marrow & swap out the cells that produce red blood cells.

Cytokines: The formation of red blood cells by the marrow in the bones can be slowed by high concentrations of cytokines, proteins that function like molecular messengers between cells.

Hemolytic anaemia: Although it can affect persons without cancer, it is more frequent in those with lymphomas.

Malnutrition: Cancer patients often have a weak appetite. Eating may be challenging due to mouth sores and taste alterations brought on by chemotherapy. Anaemia Symptoms may develop due to nutritional inadequacies, such as an iron deficit.

Types of Cancer That Cause Anemia

Cancer-related anaemia can result from blood loss from a tumour or a problem producing healthy red blood cells. Anaemia and the following malignancies are linked.

Blood and Bone Marrow Cancers

Anaemia can result from blood and bone marrow malignancies, which disrupt blood cell production and function. This is so that the formation of good blood cells is not uninterrupted by the unchecked expansion of aberrant blood cells brought on by blood malignancies. Blood & bone marrow cancers can be of three primary types:

Leukaemia: This disease affects the bone marrow and bloodstream and is brought on by an abnormally high production of white blood cells that generally serve to combat infections. The bone marrow’s capacity to create red blood cells & platelets is hampered by abnormal white blood cells ( WBC)linked to leukaemia.

Lymphoma: Your body’s lymphatic system eliminates extra fluid and creates lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell that fights infections. When aberrant cells gather in lymph nodes and other tissues, they cause lymphoma, compromising the immune system.

Myeloma: White blood cells called plasma cells manufacture antibodies to fend against infections. The plasma cell malignancy known as myeloma prevents the body from producing antibodies normally. This weakens your immune system.

Anaemia can result from cancer that has metastasized (spread) to the bones or cancer that has affected another body region.

Cervical Cancer

Research shows that almost half of all cervical cancer patients are anaemic when first diagnosed. It frequently results from bleeding tumours. Malnutrition brought on by cancer-related decreased appetite or cancer spread to the bone marrow is another possible cause.

Colon Cancer

One of the early signs of colon cancer can be an iron shortage. The right-hand side of the colon is separated from your rectum, giving blood in the stool time to deteriorate and likely becoming undetectable when you evacuate it in your bowels.

Low blood pressure over time will be caused by large tumours in this area of the colon that can still bleed slowly.

Kidney Cancer

Anaemia Symptoms can be brought on by renal cell carcinoma and other kinds of kidney cancer. Erythropoietin, a hormone secreted by the kidneys, promotes the synthesis and red blood cells. Anaemia can result from kidney malignancy, which can impede this process.

Other Causes of Anemia

Additional root causes of anaemia include:

● Autoimmune conditions such as hemolytic anaemia that result in the death of red blood cells. 

● Bleeding due to trauma, menstruation, polyps, ulcers, haemorrhoids, or surgery. 

● Chronic ailments such as chronic renal disease.

● Some medications, particularly some antibiotics, can cause the demise of red blood cells.

● Nutritional deficiencies brought on by a diet low in foods high in iron, vitamin B12, and folate, or malabsorption brought on by intestinal illnesses such as Crohn’s disease.

Cancer Treatment and Anemia

Chemotherapy and radiation for cancer can both cause anaemia as a side effect.9

Chemotherapy targets all quickly dividing cells in the body, not just cancer cells; among these are the bone marrow cells that produce new white blood cells, red blood cells, & platelets.

A blood count often precedes each chemotherapy injection, and if the red blood cell count gets too low, treatment may need to be postponed. To continue administering chemotherapy, some cancer patients receive treatment with drugs that promote the creation of red blood cells.

90% of patients taking chemotherapy for solid tumours were found to have anaemia in a 2016 study.

Anemia Symptoms to Look Out For

Symptoms of your body’s shortage of red blood cells, which may be present with anaemia, include:

● Cold fingers or toes

● Dizziness 

● Fatigue

● Constant weakness or exhaustion

● Headache 

● A greater propensity for infection

● Pallor (most noticeable on mucous membranes)

● Pica (the need to consume objects not intended for consumption, such as dirt)

● Fast heart rate.

● Breathlessness (unrelated to asthma or a heart problem in the past).

It’s crucial to remember that not all cases of anaemia result in symptoms.


An all-time low red blood cell count and low haemoglobin levels indicate anaemia on a complete blood count.

● Men typically have a red blood cell count of 4.32 – 5.72 trillion cells per litre, whereas women typically have 3,90 – 5.03 trillion cells per litre.

● A haemoglobin level of fewer than 13.5 grammes per 100 millilitres in men or 12.0 grammes per 100 millilitres in women is considered low.

● Hematocrit: A healthy hematocrit range for men is 42% – 54%; for women, it is 38% to 46%.

Healthcare professionals also look at additional blood tests to learn more about possible anaemia reasons and the levels. A few of these are:

Mean corpuscular volume (MCV): The MCV reveals whether red blood cells are large (as in folate and B12 insufficiency) or tiny (as in iron deficit), depending on the condition.

Red cell distribution width (RDW): The RDW provides further details on red blood cell size and whether there are two distinct populations, which may indicate many underlying causes.

Mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration (MCHC): MCHC provides further details regarding the structure of red blood cells.

Diagnosing Cancer

Tests to exclude cancer could be considered if the cause of anaemia in a person without cancer is unknown.

The following types of testing are used to identify cancer:

■ A  biopsy to examine bone marrow, tissue samples, or bodily fluids.

■ Tests on the blood to look for tumour markers.

■ Endoscopic examinations, such as cystoscopy, bronchoscopy, or colonoscopy.

■ Such as X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and computed tomography (CT) scans.


There are two main processes in treating anaemia in cancer patients. The first step is to cure the underlying source of the anaemia, which might occasionally render it inactive. The anaemia must also be treated, mainly if it has caused symptoms or has advanced quickly.

Treatment of the Underlying Cause

The underlying reason for anaemia, which, as was mentioned, can be caused by various causes, will determine how the condition is treated. Your subsequent infusion for chemotherapy-induced anaemia may need to be postponed or cancelled until your blood cell counts have improved.

If your cancer has spread to your bone marrow, the initial step in treatment will be to target the malignancy there.

Treatments for Anemia

Anaemia may be treated in particular ways using:

Diet: If your anemia is light, eating iron-rich foods may be sufficient. The red blood cell count can be restored using this strategy alone, but it requires some time (on the scale of months). Red meat, liver (from either a chicken or a beef animal), iron-fortified cereals, & legumes are some iron-rich foods that may be beneficial.

Iron supplements: These may be recommended, but you should only take them as your doctor directs. According to studies, intravenous iron may benefit some individuals with cancer-related anaemia.12 These can cause constipation; your doctor could advise a stool softener.

Blood transfusion: If your anaemia is generating noticeable symptoms, a blood transfusion is typically performed to boost your red blood cell count quickly.

■ Certain medications stimulate the formation of red blood cells in the marrow in your bones. Drugs like Procrit, Epogen (epoetin alfa), and Aranesp (darbepoetin alfa) mimic substances our bodies naturally produce to promote the creation of red blood cells.

Steroids: Hemolytic anaemia in lymphomas is occasionally treated with steroids.

Final words 

Anaemia can be challenging, especially given the exhaustion it causes. Cancer tiredness is one of the symptoms of cancer & cancer therapies that many people find the most unpleasant, although it isn’t dangerous on its own.

While your anaemia is being diagnosed and treated, a few straightforward steps can be helpful. Orthostatic hypotension, or the drop in blood pressure that can cause dizziness and “blacking out” when rising quickly from lying to standing can be avoided by standing or sitting up gently.

It also helps to prioritize your tasks and pace yourself during the day. Remembering to reach out and ask for help is another helpful skill. Both anaemia and dealing with cancer itself require healthy eating and adequate hydration.


In conclusion, the article has attempted to explain “WHAT TYPE OF CANCER CAUSES LOW HEMOGLOBIN”. I hope the language in this post is clear and understandable. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Q1) What type of cancer lowers haemoglobin levels?

Ans. Numerous malignancies, such as leukaemia, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, & multiple myeloma, can result in low haemoglobin levels. 

Q2) Why does cancer lower haemoglobin levels?

Ans. A common complication among cancer patients is anaemia. This is because tumours generate inflammation, which lowers the formation of red blood cells.