Blood Transfusion in Medicine I Cancer

The transfusion supportive care of patients with cancer is responsible for a large proportion of blood transfused within developed countries such as the United States, Europe and Japan. From the perspective of blood transfusion, it is useful to group patients with cancer into three different categories. First, hematologic malignancies in adults, which although comprising only 10% of all cancers in this population, account for much of the blood product use, especially platelets. Second, adult non-hematological malignancies, which, are mostly treated with local forms of treatments, such as surgery or radiation therapy. Although, chemotherapy may be used, cytopenias resulting from chemotherapy which require transfusion support are uncommon, outside of the context of lung, breast or ovarian carcinomas. Third, pediatric malignancies. Approximately 50% of pediatric malignancies are hematological malignancies; however, solid tumors which occur in children, such as neuroblastomas, are more likely to result in chemotherapy-related cytopenias and transfusion support more closely resembles that of adult patients with hematologic malignancies.

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