Cancer that originates in the blood cells and spreads into the entire body is called blood cancer. It is a deadly disease.
Our blood comprises several kinds of cells – the red blood corpuscles (RBCs or simply, red cells), the white corpuscles (WBCs or simply white cells), and the platelets. The red cells have hemoglobin and carry oxygen to tissues. The white cells look after the body’s natural immunity. And the platelets prevent blood loss from injured tissues by forming blood clots. A cancer of blood may include the excessive division of these cells or their progenitor cells, thus flooding the blood with immature non-functional blood cells.
Let’s First Look Into The Symptoms
The patient with blood cancer presents with fever, blood loss (due to decreased count of functional platelets), subcutaneous blood spots, blood in urine, feces, and sputum, weight loss, decreased appetite, a person quickly gets tired on exertion(due to loss of functional RBCs). The patient may also have decreased immunity (caused due to low levels of WBCs).
The patient usually comes with a combination of these symptoms.
The preliminary diagnosis is done by withdrawing blood from the veins. In 70-80% of the cases, this diagnosis is enough to let the physician know whether the patient has blood cancer or not. But for the confirmed diagnosis, prognosis, and spread of the disease, complete evaluation needs to be done that includes tests like Bone marrow examination, CT SCAN (if necessary) of chest and abdomen, and some genetic tests need to be performed.
The treatment of ALL( Acute Lymphocytic Leukaemia) and AML(Acute Myeloid Leukaemia) types of blood cancer are of different duration. If the patient already has some previous infection, the treatment gets prolonged as, in that case, the pathology of the infection is determined. It is first treated; only then can the physician move on to cure cancer.
The Principal Treatment Involves Chemotherapy And Antibiotics
In AML, strong medicines are prescribed, and the patient is kept under medical supervision in the hospital for about 20-25 days. This long stay at the hospital is necessary because, after the administration of the drugs, the patient’s immunity weakens, and is not able to fight many pathogens. During this period, many people are allowed to meet the patient for the cause of contamination. The success rate of this treatment is 50-60%. Some doctors even suggest going for bone marrow transplantation if chemotherapy doesn’t prove to be of much use. In that case, an additional one month stay at the hospital is recommended.
The procedures are similar to that of AML, except that the treatment is prolonged, maybe 2-3 years, and the success rate is also high, nearly 70-80%. Apart from these, everything else remains the same, like, the patient is administered strong medicines, kept under medical supervision with very few people meeting him for about a month. However, a bone marrow transplant can be an option if chemotherapy doesn’t work.
You have always heard ‘PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE.’
So here are the top five points for preventing blood cancer :
- DO NOT consume tobacco and alcohol.
- Eat a healthy and balanced diet.
- Eat lots of fruits as they contain natural antioxidants that prevent cells from becoming cancerous.
- Maintain a healthy weight and be physically active
- Sleep well. During sleep, the body’s immune system kills many potentially cancerous cells.
So here was, in short, a brief idea of what blood cancer is, what symptoms the patient presents with, the medical diagnosis, the treatment, and the prevention of blood cancer. As many patients have been cured of blood cancer worldwide, there’s nothing to fear. Going to your physician in time and following the doctor’s advice can alleviate the symptoms quickly. We hope that this documentary was useful to you.