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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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:
- Loss of appetite
- 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.
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.
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.
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.