Stage 4 is the last stage of blood cancer. Each cancer type will have different occurrences according to various individuals. The extent of the spread of cancer and the organs affected will vary in each case. And so, it is essential to understand the basics of blood cancer and the various types and stages to understand what happens in the last stage of it.
Primary types of Blood Cancers
Blood cancers develop when abnormal blood cells multiply uncontrollably, interfering with the regular blood cell’s ability to combat infection and generate new blood cells. One of the most common cancers, blood cancer, is classified into three main subtypes. They all fall under the same group of blood cancers. However, they differ in their area of origin and the areas they impact. Cancer can be acute, which is rapidly proliferating or chronic, which is slowly spreading cancer.
Leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma are the three primary cancers that affect the blood and bone marrow:
Blood cancer and leukemia develop in the bone marrow and blood. It occurs when the body produces excessive malformed white blood cells, interfering with the production of red blood cells and platelets by the bone marrow.
It is a blood cancer that arises from lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell that aids in the body’s ability to fight infections.
It is a blood cancer that arises from lymphocytes, which are lymphatic system cells. The Reed-Sternberg cell, an abnormal lymphocyte, is a defining feature of Hodgkin lymphoma.
Plasma cell cancer, or myeloma, affects lymphocytes that produce antibodies to ward off infections. The immune system becomes weak due to myeloma, making the body more prone to infection.
Symptoms of Blood Cancer
The symptoms of blood cancer may vary according to each body, stage and type of cancer. However, there are some symptoms common to all types of cancer.
- Joint pain
- Unexplained weight loss
- The swelling of lymph nodes or liver
Diagnosing Blood Cancers
Since there are so many distinct types of blood cancer. There are three primary categories. Each distinct type of cancer affects a certain kind of blood cell. Early identification of certain malignancies may be possible by a regular blood test.
A complete blood count (CBC) test checks for abnormally high or low levels of white blood cells in relation to red blood cells and platelets.
A biopsy, which involves removing a small amount of tissue to be studied under a microscope, will be necessary. To look for swollen lymph nodes, occasionally additionally, an X-ray, CT, or PET scan might be necessary.
Your doctor may request a CBC or other blood or urine tests to identify chemicals or proteins from myeloma development. Bone marrow biopsy, X-rays, MRIs, PET scans, and CT scans can occasionally be used to determine the incidence and extent of myeloma spread.
Stages of Blood Cancer
Based on metastasis, the cancer stages are classified. Depending on the signs and the rate of metastasis, there are numerous criteria to identify the different stages. This staging helps to identify various factors, such as the size of the tumor and the extent and cause of cancer metastasis. The cancer stage can be determined by various tests such as imaging tests, physical examinations and others. Cancer staging helps determine the best possible treatment for the patient.
The lymph nodes grow during the first stage of blood malignancy. This occurs as a result of a sudden rise in lymphocyte density. Since cancer has not yet progressed or impacted any other physical organs, the risk is minimal.
Spleen, liver, and lymph nodes enlarge in stage two of blood cancer. Although not all of these organs must be affected at once, at least one is undoubtedly affected at this stage. At this stage, lymphocyte multiplication is highly rapid.
The above-mentioned organs are still found to be enlarged in the third stage of blood malignancy, where anemia occurs. At this level, more than two organs are certainly impacted.
The final stage with the highest risk ratio is the fourth stage. Blood platelet count starts quickly declining. The lungs are among the first organs the malignant cells begin to attack, along with the other organs that were affected earlier.
Blood cancer at the final stage may be at an acute stage. In the last stage of blood cancer, it will have metastasized into various organs in most cases. There can be excessive bleeding, internal hemorrhage, along with other symptoms. However, appropriate treatment and care can help to control them. There are treatments available for the last stage of blood cancer as well. We can increase the quality of life and chances of survival through an integrative approach and by providing a palliative care facility. Since more than one organ might be most affected in this stage, it is essential to take proper care of each organ. And for this, medical treatments alone will not suffice. It is important to take up alternative therapies, anti-cancer diets and supplements to increase the efficacy of the treatments. There are possibilities for a cure for this stage, as every individual’s body functions differently, and there is a wide area of developing research on cancer care.