Blood cancer primarily affects the blood cells and bone marrow in a person’s body, changes the way blood cells work, and impacts how well they behave. The three types of blood cells – White blood cells, Red blood cells and Platelets – are essentially responsible for fighting infections as a part of the body’s immune system, carrying oxygen to body tissues and organs while transporting carbon dioxide to the lungs and also being responsible for clotting of blood if there are injuries in the body.
Types of blood cancer
There are three major types of blood cancer,
Leukemia causes the production of a lot of white blood cells that cannot fight infections like they usually can.
Lymphoma is cancer in your lymph system, including lymph nodes, spleen and Thymus gland. These vessels store and carry white blood cells so your body can fight infections. Two types of Lymphoma affect both B-lymphocytes and T-lymphocytes in the lymph system. Both types of Lymphoma have subtypes on the basis of the part of the body cancer originates in and how it behaves.
Myeloma is cancer occurring in the plasma cells of the bone marrow, which makes antibodies. This cancer spreads through the bone marrow and damages the bones while crowding the white blood cells. These cells also produce antibodies that can’t fight infections.
This type is multiple myeloma because it is found in the bone marrow of different body parts.
Indicative factors and Diagnosis of blood cancer:
There are several identifying factors for blood cancer. For example, When there is an abnormal count of lymphocytes and other white blood cells, the suspicion of blood cancer arises. Further tests are necessary to confirm it. These abnormal counts cause blood cancer because the increased white blood cells in the bone marrow leave no room for the growth of red blood cells and platelets.
While Blood cancer or Leukemia doesn’t have a specific reason for its onset, various components contribute to it, mainly genetic traits that aren’t hereditary. Other factors that enhance the development of Leukemia include exposure to radiation and harmful chemicals and pesticides.
Early Diagnosis is the key to a better chance of curing and recovery from blood cancer. This is also important in terms of a person’s financial benefit; the cost of treatment can reduce by 50% in the case of early Diagnosis. The preliminary blood test (CBC test) is the first step to an early diagnosis, followed by the bone marrow aspiration and biopsy to get a precise diagnosis.
Leukemia is a slow onset that takes months to years to develop. The treatment can be slow. Almost 95% of the time, Leukemia doesn’t have a reason for its start, unlike Liver or Lung cancer which is based on a history of drinking and smoking.
Acute leukemias come on suddenly and the diagnosis should be at the right time to save the patient. Whereas, we can identify chronic Leukemia in routine checks. Four significant types of Leukemia take long-term or short-term treatment based on the severity and stage of Diagnosis.
Acute lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL)
In this type, the lymphocytes (white blood cells) crowd the normal white blood cells and block regular function and can advance quickly if not treated. It’s the most common type of childhood cancer (3-5 years) and can also affect people above 70. A person is more likely to get ALL if they have a brother or sister who had it, has been near too much radiation, has been treated with chemotherapy or radiation for another type of cancer, or has down syndrome or other forms of the genetic disorder.
Acute Myeloid leukaemia
This type of cancer starts in Myeloid cells that grow in all three types of blood cells and reduces the number of healthy blood cells. This form overgrows and is common among people over 65, more specifically men. The chances are higher if the patient has had previous chemotherapy or radiation, has used toxic chemicals like benzene, is a smoker or has a blood or genetic disorder.
Chronic lymphocytic Leukemia
It’s the most common type of Leukemia in adults but is a prolonged type that takes a long time to show after cancer develops. It mainly affects people 70 years or older and is also more possible in the case of people are around more chemicals.
Chronic Myeloid Leukemia
This cancer starts in the Myeloid cells, but the growth is slower. It’s more common in men than women and is in children on rare occasions. A person is more likely to be prime to CML if they are around too much radiation.
The stage of leukemia determines the treatment process. Chemotherapy, biological therapy, targeted therapy, radiation therapy, and stem cell transplant are typical leukemia therapies.
Multiple medications (pills and injections) are in use in chemotherapy to eliminate leukemia cells. The immune system is manipulated in biological treatment to fight leukemia cells. The weaknesses within cancer cells are the target in targeted therapy.
high doses of radiation kills leukemia cells in radiation therapy: the treatment’s precision and accuracy aid in targeting all leukemia cells. The damaged bone marrow is replaced with healthy bone marrow during the stem cell transplant.
A strong dose of radiation is delivered before the stem cell transplant to eliminate the bone marrow’s leukaemia cells. Healthy bone marrow is then used to replace the damaged bone marrow. Healthy stem cells are obtained from the patient’s body or others.
When it comes to curing blood diseases, the doctor claims that acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (also known as childhood leukaemia) is nearly 90% curable. Lymphoma in adults is 80-90 per cent curable, and acute leukaemia in adults can be 40-50 per cent curable. Understanding whether the problem is acute or persistent is crucial before starting treatment. In some instances of chronic lymphatic leukaemia, treatment is not required in the early stages of the disease. A single tablet taken once a day nearly cures the condition, allowing the patient to resume normal activities. Also, unlike chemotherapy, there are no adverse effects. Acute promyelocytic leukaemia can also be treated without chemotherapy, with a 90 per cent success rate. Without therapy or treatment, a person can live for ten to fifteen years. On the other hand, acute leukaemia cases should be treated as soon as feasible.