Tiredness is common in patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma (a type of cancer characterized by an abnormal growth of plasma cells, usually in the bone marrow). These patients frequently have low red blood cell counts, or anemia. The red cells in your blood are responsible for delivering oxygen to the tissues. If you have anemia, your tissues may not have enough oxygen, resulting in fatigue.
What to do: A prescription drug, epoetin (Epogen), stimulates the production of red cells in the bone marrow and can be used in myeloma patients to improve anemia and the resulting fatigue. It is also important to stay on a healthful diet and regular exercise program. While patients with myeloma need to be cautious not to harm the bones, which are usually weakened by the cancer, exercises that don't impact the spine, such as walking or swimming, are advisable. You should also consult your doctor about taking a multivitamin.
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