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Cancer Prevention

Blood Cancer – Treatable or Not?

Blood Cancer

Cancer is one of the most serious diseases, characterised by the uncontrollable or abnormal division of cells in the body. Cancer begins in one cell and multiplies rapidly through a process of cell division that grows into trillions of cells. Globally, cancer accounts for 10 million deaths, making it the second leading cause of death. It is a multi-stage process that progresses gradually and builds up a risk.

Benign tumours: This type of tumour is restricted to the place of origin and does not spread to distinct parts of the body nor invade the surrounding tissues. These are the non-cancerous growths that develop slowly and do not cause any harm. 

Malignant tumours: These tumours are cancerous and can travel to distinct places in the body to form new tumours and this process is termed metastasis. Malignant cancers are spread to other parts of the body via the bloodstream or the lymphatic system. 

What Is Blood Cancer?

Blood cancer is a type of cancer that develops in the bone marrow, where blood is produced. We all know that cancer is the dysfunction of cellular growth that has a significant effect on the body and immune system. Our body produces white blood cells regularly, which are replaced by old blood cells. Nonetheless, an excessive number of white blood cells in the body can lead to a variety of cancers.

Types of Blood Cancer:

Different types of blood cancer manifest themselves in a variety of ways, and their symptoms, treatments, and outcomes differ as well. There are three main types of blood and bone marrow cancer namely: 

Leukaemia: This is the cancer of white blood cells that develops in the bone marrow and interferes with the production of red blood cells and platelets. It can be acute or chronic and is the most common type of blood cancer, especially seen among children. 

Lymphoma: It is a cancer of the lymphatic system that affects the lymphocytes, which play a major role in the immune system. There are two main types of lymphoma – Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. 

Myeloma: This type of blood cancer affects the plasma cells, a type of lymphocytes that produce antibodies. Due to the disruption of the immune system, people with this type of blood cancer are more susceptible to infection.

Treatment for Blood Cancer 

The treatments for blood cancers have significantly improved over the past decade. The ongoing research and novel drugs are paving way for treatment modalities that can treat blood cancers at the initial stages. Treatment of cancer at an advanced stage, however, becomes more challenging, just like treating any other disease in the body. 

The treatment for blood cancer often depends on several factors depending on the following:

Types of Blood Cancer

  • Cancer staging
  • Presented symptoms 
  • Blood cell count 
  • Overall health of the patient

Depending on the above-mentioned parameters, treatment for blood cancer might include any one or a combination of one or more treatment methods. They are: 

Chemotherapy: It is one of the most frequently used cancer treatments, where anticancer drugs are injected into the body through veins to kill or slow down the proliferation of cancer cells. It also helps to control the damage caused to the healthy cells in the body. It is often given in cycles or multiple sessions and the frequency of the treatment differs based on the type and stage of cancer. 

Immunotherapy: This method of treatment uses immunotherapy drugs that trigger the immune system to target and kill the cancer cells. It is one of the tailor-made approaches to kill the cancerous cells in the body. Immunotherapy can be used alone or in combination with other treatment methods like chemotherapy. 

Stem cell transplant: In this type of treatment, stem cells are infused into the body to enhance or improve the production of healthy blood cells in the bone marrow. This type of treatment also involves chemotherapy to destroy the malignant cancer cells in the body.

Targeted Therapies: This is usually used in the treatment of leukaemia. In this type of cancer treatment, drugs that specifically target genes and proteins that help in the growth and survival of cancer cells are targeted and killed. 

Radiation Therapy or Radiotherapy: This type of treatment involves high-energy rays to destroy the cancer cells. It is mostly used in the treatment of Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The high-energy rays are directed at lymph nodes that have been affected by cancer. 

Surgery: In case of blood cancers, surgery is the rarely used option for the treatment. To treat lymphoma cancer, the affected lymph nodes are removed with the help of surgery. An affected person’s spleen may be removed in rare cases of lymphoma cancer.

In conclusion, blood cancer is treatable depending on the staging of the cancer and the type of the cancer the person is affected with. If detected and diagnosed at an early stage, slow-growing blood cancers can be treated with a variety of treatment options available. 

Why Choose Ayu Health? 

Ayu Health Hospitals are the most trusted chain of hospitals in India with highly experienced doctors across several specialties. As healthcare providers, we are committed to providing our patients with high-quality care at an affordable cost. Ayu Health hospitals have expert oncologists who deliver superior patient care for those suffering from various types of cancer. Our doctors at Ayu Health Hospital on average hold 15+ years of experience in rendering efficient patient services. If you suspect any unusual symptoms, do seek immediate medical attention and receive the treatment on time.

About the Author

Dr. Shivakumar Uppala
Dr. Shivakumar Uppala
MBBS, MS - General Surgery, MCH - Surgical Oncology at AyuHealth | Website | + posts

Dr. Shivakumar Uppala is renowned as one of the best Cancer Specialist Doctors in the country, has performed more than 500 surgeries till now, and is an experienced surgical oncologist as well as a consultant. He is practicing at Ayu Health Hospital, Bangalore.  He is a specialist in Surgical Oncology and MS - General Surgery Laparoscopic Surgeon.

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