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Background: People with primary invasive breast cancer receive both local (surgery and radiation therapy) and systemic treatment (chemotherapy and hormonal therapy). However, there are substantial short-and long-term side effects from chemotherapy as documented in several studies. This study assessed the effects of chemotherapy on clinical, haematological and biochemical profile of breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy in the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital.
Methods: This longitudinal study was conducted in the female surgical ward of the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital (CCTH). We randomly sampled 51 patients diagnosed with breast cancer and scheduled to start chemotherapy and recorded their demographic, clinical and therapeutic data. Blood was collected for haematological profiles [haemoglobin (Hb), white blood cell (WBC) count, platelets (PLT) and biochemical analysis (lipid profile, uric acid and creatinine) for day 1, day 21 and day 42 of their chemotherapy cycles.
Results: Majority of the participants were within 46-60 years, married, overweight and had informal employment. Throughout chemotherapy cycles, systolic blood pressure (SBP) significantly decreased till after the third cycle (P=0.026), diastolic blood pressure (DBP) significantly decreased after second cycle but increased slightly after the third cycle (P=0.029). Hemoglobin though insignificant, decreased after the second cycle but increased sharply after the third cycle (P=0.281). White blood cells (WBC) significantly decreased throughout cycles (P=0.008) whereas high density lipoprotein (P=0.014) increased throughout cycles- Uric acid (P=0.852) and creatinine (P=1.000). were maintained throughout cycles
Conclusion: Throughout cycles, chemotherapy had significant adverse effect on the clinical profile (systolic and diastolic blood pressure), white blood cells (WBC) and high density lipoprotein (HDL) in patients undergoing treatment.