Blood Cancer Treatment in India
Blood cancer is an umbrella term for cancers that affect the blood, bone marrow and lymphatic system. Blood is a parts of the body. Blood has different components sch as red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets and plasma. The red blood cells (rbc), platelets also called monocytes because it is belong to the “myeloid” group and other white blood cells belong to the “lymphoid” group. Lymphoid cells are affected. Disease progresses quickly. Blood cancer or Leukaemia is actually a group of diseases, each of which impede with the normal functioning of blood cells and progressively weaken the system.leukaemia is classified as either Acute or Chronic. Blood and urine samples may also be tested for various substances, called tumor markers, which may indicate cancer.
Types of blood cancers
Common types of blood cancer include:
- Leukemia: Cancer that originates in blood-forming tissue.
- Non-Hodgkin lymphoma: Cancer that develops in the lymphatic system from cells called lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell that helps the body fight infections.
- Hodgkin lymphoma: Cancer that develops in the lymphatic system from cells called lymphocytes. Hodgkin lymphoma is marked by the presence of an abnormal lymphocyte called the Reed-Sternberg cell (or B lymphocyte).
- Multiple myeloma: Cancer that begins in the blood’s plasma cells, a type of white blood cell that is made in the bone marrow.
Blood cancer symptoms
Some common blood cancer symptoms include:
- Fever, chills
- Persistent fatigue, weakness
- Loss of appetite, nausea
- Unexplained weight loss
- Night sweats
- Bone/joint pain
- Abdominal discomfort
- Shortness of breath
- Frequent infections
- Itchy skin or skin rash
- Swollen lymph nodes in the neck, underarms, groin
Some of the serious symptoms include –
- Heavy and uncontrolled bleeding
- Bluish coloration of the fingernails or lips
- Rapid heart rate
- Severe abdominal pain
- Change in the level of alertness or consciousness that include unresponsiveness or passing out
- Breathing or respiratory problems like wheezing, shortness of breath, labored breathing and difficulty in breathing
- High fever
- Sudden behavior or mental status change such as delusions, confusion, hallucinations, lethargy and delirium
- Palpitations, chest tightness, chest pain and chest pressure
Causes of Blood Cancer
1. Exposure to radiation.
2. Exposure to chemicals.
3. Human T-cell Leukaemia Virus (HTLV)
4. Genetic factors (chromosomal abnormalities).
Stages of Blood Cancer
Doctors combine the T,N,M results to determine the stage of cancer for each person. Most cancers have four stages: stages I (one) to IV (four). Some cancers also have a stage 0 (zero).
- Stage 0. This stage describes cancer in situ, which means “in place.” Stage 0 cancers are still located in the place they started and have not spread to nearby tissues. This stage of cancer is often highly curable, usually by removing the entire tumor with surgery.
- Stage I. This stage is usually a small cancer or tumor that has not grown deeply into nearby tissues. It also has not spread to the lymph nodes or other parts of the body. It is often called early-stage cancer.
- Stage II and III. These stages indicate larger cancers or tumors that have grown more deeply into nearby tissue. They may have also spread to lymph nodes but not to other parts of the body.
- Stage IV. This stage means that the cancer has spread to other organs or parts of the body. It may also be called advanced or metastatic cancer.
Diagnosis of Blood Cancer
Biopsy : The presence of cancer cells is determined by taking a sample of a bone marrow while performing a biopsy. This can be done through a bone needle biopsy or bone marrow aspiration.
Urine Test : High level of protein known as Bence Jones protein is determined by taking urine samples. Some specific cancers may have high level of protein.
Blood Test : The number of some specific blood cells is determined by performing a blood test
Chest X-ray : This x-ray helps in determining the presence of swollen lymph nodes, bone damage or tumors growing in the bone marrow.
Cytogenetics : The change in the genetic material is determined by this test.
Spinal Tap : Certain amount of clear fluid is taken that surrounds the spinal cord and brain. This test is done for checking the presence of cancer cells.
Physical Exam : Swollen lymph nodes can be determined with the help of this test. Growth of tumors in the bone marrow or damage to the bone can also be determined with the help of a physical examination.
Treatment of Blood Cancer
Treatment for blood cancer depends on the type of cancer, your age, how fast the cancer is progressing, where the cancer has spread and other factors. Some common blood cancer treatments include:
- Stem cell transplantation: A stem cell transplant infuses healthy blood-forming stem cells into the body. Stem cells can be collected from the bone marrow, circulating (peripheral) blood and umbilical cord blood.
- Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is the use of anticancer drugs designed to interfere with and halt the growth of cancer cells in the body. Chemotherapy for blood cancer sometimes consists of giving several drugs together in a set regimen. It may also be given before a stem cell transplant.
- Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy may be used to destroy cancer cells or to relieve pain or discomfort. It may also be given before a stem cell transplant.
Biological therapy is treatment designed to stimulate or restore the ability of the body’s immune (natural internal defense) system to fight infection and disease. Biological therapy is also called biotherapy or immunotherapy