What is Blood Cancer

What you need to know about Blood Cancer

What is blood cancer?

When cancer starts developing in the blood-forming tissues, it can lead to blood cancer. Blood forming issues red blood cells, white blood cells, plasma, and even bone marrow. When the growth of abnormal blood cells blows out of proportion in the body, it can hamper the functionality of blood cells. Blood cancer starts with the reduction in the production of infection-fighting cells and even new blood cells. Most of the blood cancers are hematologic cancers which means it starts in the bone marrow and eventually spreads in the body.

India gets approximately 8 Lakhs of new cancer cases every year. Out of which 70,000-80,000 are blood cancer cases. India reports 3rd highest cases of blood cancer every year after the US and China.

Types of Blood Cancer?

There are two main verticals of blood cancer. However, these three can be further subcategorized. 

  1. Leukemia:

    A type of blood cancer that originates in a person’s bone marrow and blood. This is the most common type of blood cancer. When the body starts creating more abnormal white blood cells than required, it starts interfering with the ability of the bone marrow to generate red blood cells and platelets.

  2. i) Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma:

    This type of blood cancer starts developing from cells called lymphocytes in the lymphatic system. Lymphocytes are a subset of white blood cells that helps the human body fight external and internal infections.

    ii) Hodgkin Lymphoma:

    Hodgkin Lymphoma is caused when the lymphatic system starts producing abnormal lymphocytes called Reed-Sternberg cells.

Causes of Blood Cancer

While there are no proven specifics on the cause of blood cancer, there are some definite factors that play a huge role:

  1. Alcohol:

    Occasional drinking does not hamper your health. But excessive consumption of alcohol can make your immune system weak. It can also obstruct the production of new cells in the bone marrow. 

  2. Tobacco:

    Tobacco is a cancer-causing element. Intake of tobacco in any form can cause cancer. Tobacco weakens the immune system and can alter the person’s DNA making them susceptible to a number of diseases and cancers.

  3. Genetic:

    If you have a family history of hematological diseases, you are prone to blood cancer.

Symptoms of Blood Cancer

Blood cancer patients can have the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Headaches
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Shortness of breath
  • Rashes on Skin
  • Itchy skin
  • Night sweats
  • Bone/joint pain
  • Abdominal pain
  • Sudden unexplained weight loss
  • Frequent infections
  • Swelling in lymph nodes of the neck, underarms, or groin

Treatment of Blood Cancer

Treatment of blood cancer can depend on several factors. It majorly depends on age, speed of the cancer development, location of cancer, and the type of cancer. However, there are some commonly followed treatments.

  1. Stem Cell Transplant:

    Stem cells are present in the umbilical cord, bone marrow, and circulating blood. In stem cell transplants, healthy blood-forming stem cells are extracted from the donor and infused in the patient’s blood. 

  2. Chemotherapy:

    Chemotherapy is one of the most common treatments of cancer. This includes introducing anticancer drugs in the body to halt the development of cancerous cells. In some cases, chemotherapy is required after the stem cell transplant.

  3. Radiation Therapy:

    Radiations are used to destroy cancer cells. Radiation therapy can also be done for relieving pain relief of the patients. At times, radiation therapy is done before stem cell transplants.

Blood Cancer falls under the Hematology department. Dr. S.K Gupta at Hematology and BMT Institute International is one of the best hematologists in India. His expertise and knowledge in blood, bone marrow-related disorders are unmatched. He possesses experience of 15 years and believes timely diagnosis, proper guidance, and effective treatment are the foundations of the battle with blood cancer.

Hematology and BMT Institute International is well known in India. The team of experts specializes in hematology or blood-related diseases. The clinic is located in Hyderabad and envisions accessible and reliable medical treatments.

Tumor vs Cancer

Tumor Vs Cancer: Difference & Comparison

Cancer and Tumor

Cancer is a disease in which cells start to divide uncontrollably. Splitting of the cells can begin almost anywhere in the body and eventually lead to cancer. 

An unconstrained growth taking place in the solid tissues such as muscle, bone, and organs is a tumor. A tumor has the ability to outspread to surrounding organs and tissues through blood and lymph systems.

Abnormal cellular growth

Tumors and cancers are abnormal and rapid cellular growth that can happen anywhere in the body. In tumors, it can form a lump or lesion in the body or the surface, whereas in cancers the growth is unpredictable and can travel throughout the body. 

Types of tumors

Malignant tumor:

Malignant tumors are cancerous tumors. These tumors can cause secondary tumors by invading the surrounding tissues and by transporting them to other parts of the body as they grow. Malignant tumors can be life-threatening.

Benign tumor:

Benign tumors are noncancerous and do not travel through the body. Benign tumors are not life-threatening except for some brain anomalies which can cause inflammation and tension on the other parts of the body. 

Not all tumors are cancerous

It is safe to say that all tumors are not cancerous. Benign tumors are not cancerous because cell growth does not travel and spread through the vital organs of the body. Although malignant tumors can lead to cancer.

Similar to how all tumors are not cancerous, all cancers are not tumors. Blood cancer does not involve the growth of any tumor. Therefore, it is important to seek advice from a specialist. 

Treatment of Tumors vs. Cancer

Treatment and medication of tumors and cancer can differ depending on a number of factors. Medication and treatment are reliable on the patient’s age, the affected area, type of growth, and the speed of growth of cancer or tumor. It is significantly dependent on the stage of cancer and tumor as well. 

Since benign tumors are majorly not life-threatening, doctors can rely on the removal of tumors through surgery. Depending on the time and stage of the tumor, the recovery time can differ. Patients can recover right after surgery or it can even take months to heal.

Common treatment options for cancer patients are surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. In the surgery, the affected growth is removed surgically. During chemotherapy powerful chemicals are used to get a significant effect on the cancerous cell. In radiation therapy, high-energy radiation is used to destroy or reduce the growth of cancer.

One of the treatment options that is being explored is Gene Therapy. In gene therapy, DNA is used as a pharmaceutical agent to treat the affected cells. 

Similar to cancer, Chemotherapy, and Radiation therapy are performed to treat blood cancer. In some cases, bone marrow transplant or stem cell transplant can also be preferred along with chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Stem cell transplant and Bone marrow transplant can be used for the treatment of some non-cancerous tumors as well.

Dr. S.K Gupta at Hematology BMT Institute International, who is also one of the best hematologists in India, specializes in such cases. HBII is one of the best clinics in India specializing in Hematology and BMT. Located in Hyderabad, Hematology and BMT Institute International aims to provide the best healthcare to their patients. Hematology BMT Institute International aims to provide the best healthcare at an affordable cost.

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