MSH blood cancer

What is Blood Cancer?

Blood is a fluid that transports plasma and cells throughout the body. It provides necessary chemicals to cells and organs, such as carbohydrates, oxygen, and hormones, and eliminates waste from cells. Bone marrow is a soft gel-like substance that produces blood cells in the hollow of our bones. Hematopoiesis is a process that involves the production, development, and differentiation of blood cells.

There are three types of blood cells in your body:

  • As part of your immune system, white blood cells combat illness.
  • Red blood cells provide oxygen to your body's tissues and organs while also transporting carbon dioxide to your lungs for exhalation.
  • When you're hurt, platelets assist your blood clot.
  • In humans, plasma makes up about 55 percent of blood fluid. Plasma is 92 percent water, with the remaining 8% containing the following:
    • Vitamins
    • Glucose
    • Hormones
    • Proteins
    • Mineral Salts
    • Fats

Red and white blood cells, as well as platelets, make up the remaining 45 percent of blood. Each of them plays an important part in the proper functioning of the blood. Blood cancer is an umbrella term for various forms of malignancies rather than a single illness. As the name implies, it refers to tumors of the blood; any disease that affects the formation or function of blood is considered a blood cancer.

Medica’s oncology department excels in providing world-class cancer treatment driven by their collective clinical excellence of over 30+ years. With a multidisciplinary approach to treating all types and forms of cancer, our oncologists and onco-surgeons are supported by the latest cancer treatment technologies along with a team of highly-skilled reconstructive surgeons who deliver extensive treatment to all of our patients, adults and children alike.

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Types

Some of the main types of blood cancer are:

Leukemia

Leukemia is a blood cancer that starts in the bone marrow and spreads throughout the body. It occurs when the body produces an excessive number of aberrant white blood cells, interfering with the ability of the bone marrow to produce red blood cells and platelets.

Hodgkin Lymphoma

Hodgkin lymphoma is a blood cancer that arises from lymphocytes in the lymphatic system. The Reed-Sternberg cell, which is present in Hodgkin lymphoma, is a type of aberrant lymphocyte.

Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

This is a type of blood cancer that originates in the lymphatic system from lymphocytes, which are a type of white blood cell that aids the body in fighting infections.

Multiple Myeloma

Multiple myeloma is a type of blood cancer that starts in the plasma cells of the blood, which are a type of white blood cell produced in the bone marrow.

Symptoms

The common symptoms of blood cancer are:

  • Fever
  • Persistent Fatigue
  • Unexplained Weakness
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Nausea
  • Night Sweats
  • Bone/Joint Pain
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Unexplained Weight Loss
  • Abdominal Pain/Discomfort
  • Headaches
  • Infections
  • Poor Blood Clotting
  • Itchy Skin/Rashes
  • Swollen Lymph Nodes
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Causes

It is impossible to pinpoint the exact cause of blood cancer in a person. According to research, some factors may enhance a person’s risk of having this malignancy. The qualities that have been identified as having a higher risk of developing cancer are known as risk factors. There are numerous forms of blood cancers, and while each has its unique set of risk factors, there are a handful that are shared by all.

  • Exposure to Radiation: Exposure to radiation can potentially result in blood cancer. Certain wavelengths of radiation can damage DNA and cause cancer. The higher the radiation exposure, the greater the chance of developing blood cancer. Radiation exposure from cancer-curing radiotherapy and imaging examinations can raise the risk of getting blood cancer.
  • Family History: Some symptoms are caused by inherited disorders. These syndromes have a direct impact on the likelihood of acquiring cancer. Fanconi anemia, Bloom syndrome, ataxia-telangiectasia, down syndrome, and a few more are among them.
  • Exposure to Chemicals: Benzene is the most frequent and deadly substance that can cause blood cancer. Heavy manufacturing smoke and chemicals, such as formaldehyde, can potentially cause blood cancer. People are exposed to these chemicals through the air they breathe, and breathing inebriated air makes a person more prone to blood cancer.
  • Chronic Inflammation: When the damage is healed, the inflammatory process comes to a stop. Chronic inflammation is caused by infections that do not go away. Inflammations can also be caused by abnormal immunological reactivity to normal tissues or fat. Chronic inflammation has been linked to DNA damage and cancer. It’s critical to figure out why and where the inflammation arose, as well as what form of inflammation it is.

Other Risk Factors:

  • Smoking: One of the most important risk factors for blood cancer is this. Smoking is commonly thought to cause just lung or mouth cancer, however it is also one of the leading causes of blood cancer. Tobacco has the potential to severely damage or disrupt the DNA of blood cells, resulting in aberrant cell development and dysfunction, ultimately leading to blood cancer.
  • Diet: Today, more than half of the world’s population does not consume a healthful diet; nonetheless, a few items are linked to an increased risk of cancer such as processed meat, aerated drinks, refined sugar, diet food, etc.
Stages

The term “stage” relates to the cancer’s severity. Making an informed treatment decision is critical for anybody diagnosed with cancer, and it starts with determining the stage or course of blood cancer. However, knowing the stage of blood cancer is one of the most critical variables in determining the best treatment choice. The majority of malignancies are classified into stages based on the size and spread of tumors.

However, unlike other cancers, blood cancer develops in the bone marrow, in the developing blood cells, which makes it a unique disease with different staging. Leukemia phases are thus classified based on blood cell counts and the accumulation of these cells in other organs such as the liver and spleen.

Diagnosis

The following tests and methods may be used to diagnose blood cancers:

Urine Examination: Proteins, blood cells, and other components in your urine are measured using this test. After your kidneys filter out the chemicals in your blood, they frequently end up in your urine.

Bone Marrow Examination: Your doctor may need to determine if your bone marrow is being attacked by a disease. Some disorders manifest in your body before they manifest in your blood. A small amount of marrow from your hip will most likely be taken by your doctor.

Imaging Tests: Tests such as MRI, PET Scan, CT, Chest X-ray, etc., will be suggested by your doctor to locate any cancerous tumors in your body. These tumors can be the source of your illness.


Blood Tests: Your oncologist will run a few blood tests to get the exact idea of the progression of your cancer. That will help them in further providing you with a proper treatment plan.

Biopsy: A special type of biopsy is done for patients who are suspecting blood cancer. Lymph node biopsy is suggested by your oncologist as having blood cancer directly affects your lymphatic system.

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Treatment

Treatment for blood cancer is determined by the type and stage of the cancer, the patient’s age, the organs affected by the malignancy, and the patient’s tolerance, among other considerations.

The following are the most essential treatments for blood cancer:

Chemotherapy: The medications are injected into the veins or a bigger muscle in this manner. They are taken orally and also delivered under the skin, depending on the stage of the treatment. To reach cancer cells, these medications pass through the bloodstream. They then prevent the cancer cells from spreading throughout the body. Because these medications target cancer cells that divide quickly, this treatment becomes one of the most successful. Chemotherapy is administered in phases. The patient is given a time of rest under medication after each stage of treatment. This is so that the patient can cope with the treatment’s side effects.

Radiation Therapy: High-energy radiation is used in radiation therapy or radiotherapy for blood cancer to kill cancer cells. The therapy works by disrupting the cells’ DNA, which prevents them from growing and reproducing.

Targeted Therapy: These treatments specifically target the chemicals that aid cancer’s growth and spread throughout the body. The primary premise is to target genes, proteins, and blood vessels that sustain them. This treatment can be administered by itself or in conjunction with chemotherapy. The following are the main choices, which vary depending on the type of blood cancer and the features of the cancer cells.

Stem Cell Transplant: The cells in the bone marrow are called stem cells, and they develop into several types of blood cells. When blood cells become seriously ill and the body’s function deteriorates, the body requires more than only the removal of malignant cells. As a result, in addition to cancer-killing therapy, stem cell or bone marrow transplantation may be required.

Palliative Care: This form of treatment aims to provide the patient with the resources and guidelines to lead a better life through support medicine and regular counseling.

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