What is Blood Cancer?
Blood cancer is a type of cancer that affects the blood cells & bone marrow. Bone marrow is a spongy tissue that is present inside the bones where the formation of blood cells takes place. Blood cancer interrupts with the way blood cells behave.
Causes & risk factors of Blood Cancer
- Blood cancer is more common in older people.
- Having family history of blood cancer.
- Bringing the body in contact with radiation or chemicals.
- Weak immune system.
Symptoms of Blood Cancer
- Frequent infections
- Loss of appetite
- Rashes on the skin
- Night sweating
- Joint pain
- Swelling of lymph nodes
- Difficulty while urinating
- Shortness of breath
- Bleeding gums
The major types of Blood Cancer (Leukaemia) are:
- Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL)
- Acute myeloid leukemia (AML)
- Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)
- Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML)
- Hairy cell leukemia (HCL)
- Lymphoma is the cancer of lymphatic system. The lymph system consists of lymph nodes, spleen, and thymus gland. Lymphomas begin in white blood cells (lymphocytes). Weak immune system commonly causes Lymphoma
The two major types of Lymphoma are:
- Hodgkin’s lymphoma, begins in B- lymphocytes or B cells. These are type of immune cells that produce antibodies which help to fight off germs.
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, begins in B cells or in T cells, another type of immune cells.
Treatment options for Blood Cancer
Following are the major treatment options for Blood Cancer.
Chemotherapy is the use of anti-cancer drug that helps to slow or stop the growth of rapidly dividing cells that cause cancer. It prevents the growth of rapidly dividing cells by killing the dividing cells. Chemotherapy is often used in combination with other interventions like radiation therapy, immunotherapy etc.(Read more on: Chemotherapy)
Radiation Therapy is a kind of cancer treatment that uses high doses of radiation beams to kill cancer cells to shrink the tumors. Radiation kills the cancer cells by destroying the DNA. Cancer cells with damaged DNA fail to multiply and die. They are then removed by the body’s mechanism (Read more on: Radiation Therapy)
Bone Marrow Transplant
Bone Marrow Transplant is considered the most curative treatment for blood cancer. A Bone Marrow Transplant also called Stem Cell Transplant is a medical procedure recommended in case of bone marrow damage. The main aim of the medical procedure is to replace a part of the bone marrow that has been destroyed due to some disease, infection or due to chemotherapy. The replacement of the blood stem cells promotes the growth of new blood cells and tissues around the bone marrow which in turn promotes prompt recovery of the damaged area. This is primarily why this procedure is also known as the Stem Cell Transplant (Read more on: Bone Marrow Transplant)