Fatigue

Fatigue is a feeling of extreme tiredness which does not go away after rest or sleep. It may be caused by the disease itself or may be a side effect of treatment. It is one of the most common problems experienced by patients with cancer.

FCR = Fludarabine+Cyclophosphamide+Rituximab

treatment regimen typically used for fit patients as they consist of moderately intensive chemotherapy which although unlikely to cause hair loss, nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea do suppress the immune system making one prone to serious and potentially life threatening infections. The gold standard treatment for ‘fit’ patients.

Folic acid

A form of vitamin B obtained from green leafy vegetables, e.g. spinach. It is essential for copying of DNA and therefore the growth and division of cells.

Folic acid antagonist

A chemical which inhibits a cell’s capacity to use folic acid and to prevent cell division, for example methotrexate.

Fludarabine

Fludarabine or fludarabine phosphate is a chemotherapy drug used in the treatment of hematological malignancies (cancers of blood cells such as leukaemias and lymphomas). It is a purine analog, which interferes with DNA synthesis.

 Full Blood Count (FBC)

A full blood count, or FBC, is a very common blood test. Doctors use this to check a person’s general health as well as screening for specific conditions, such as anaemia. The number of red cells, white cells and platelets in the blood are checked but it fails to capture the vast majority of white blood cells hiding out in the lymph nodes, spleen, bone marrow etc. Only roughly about 5-10% of the total number of WBC are seen in the peripheral blood.

FBC numbers are useful, but they do not give the whole picture.

Fungus

An infective agent such as a mould or yeast, for example candida. Yeast infections can cause particular problems in immunosuppressed patients.