Blood Cancer: Introduction
Blood Cancer is also known as Leukaemia is a type of cancer which mainly affects the blood, bone marrow and lymphatic system. According to the latest survey of National Cancer Institute, on every 100,000 people, 13.5% have blood cancer and among this, 6.9% people die every year from this disease. It means more than 50% people are surviving from the blood cancer.
Main Types of Blood Cancer
There are 3 main types of blood cancer;
This is the eleventh most cancer in the world. In leukaemia, cancer cells develop in White Blood Cells (WBC). WBC is one of the most important parts of our immune system to fight against infections. People who have Leukaemia produces immature white blood cells abnormally and these immature cells stop the production of other blood cells. Gradually it will spoil our immune system and stop the production of healthy blood.
There are two kinds of leukaemia, Acute and Chronic. Among these two, Acute Leukaemia is more danger because it generates abnormal cells very fast. So it requires an urgent treatment. Wherein Chronic Leukaemia, the development of cancer cells are very slow. So it may take over months or years to understand the presence of cancer cells in our body.
The major types of Leukaemia
- Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML)
- Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL)
- Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia (CML)
- Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia (CLL)
- Acute Promyelocytic Leukaemia (APL)
- Chronic Myelomonocytic Leukaemia (CMML)
- Hairy Cell Leukaemia (HCL)
- T-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (T-ALL)
- Large Granular Lymphocytic Leukaemia (LGL)
It is another type of cancer mainly affects our Lymphatic system. The lymphatic system also has a major role in balancing our immunity. A lymphocyte is a type of White Blood Cell and a patient who has Lymphoma reveals that he produces an abnormal number of lymphocytes in his body. Due to the abnormal production of lymphocytes, it will spoil our immune power.
Also, Lymphoma develops in the various part of our body such as blood, lymph nodes, spleen, bone marrow…etc. The major types of Lymphoma are;
- Hodgkin Lymphoma
It is also known as Hodgkin Disease. It can develop at any age, mainly young age. But researchers say that it is a less common disease.
- Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL)
Most of Lymphoma patients are NHL patients. Also, it is more found in older age group. But research says that survival rate of NHL is more than 60%.
Myeloma is an another type of major blood cancer where cancer cells develop in plasma cells. Plasma cells are present in bone marrow. The major function of plasma cells is to create antibodies to fight infection. Generally, Myeloma has seen more in old age group, especially over 75 years old.
Symptoms of Blood cancer
- Weight Lose without trying
- Weakness & Extreme Fatigue
- Unusual Sweating
- Shortness of Breath
- Vulnerability to Infection
- Swollen Lymph nodes
- Intermediate fever
- Loss of Appetite
- Itching especially on moles
- Presence of blood streams in Urea
Anaemia symptoms are also more similar to Leukaemia. So consult a doctor for the better confirmation.
Four Stages of Chronic Leukaemia
According to the symptoms of prognosis and rate of metastasis, we can distinguish cancer into four different stages. Stages reveal the spread of these cells in patient’s body when a patient diagnosed. It may be ‘In Situ, Localised Spread, Regional Spread or Distant Spread’. Stages help doctors to prescribe treatments accordingly.
- Stage Zero – ‘In Situ’
It is the first stage and in this stage, Lymph nodes will enlarge due to the abnormal growth of the lymphocytes. Risk level is intermediate since the cancer cells may not spread to the other organs.
- Stage One – Localised
In this stage, apart from Lymph nodes, either liver or spleen also or both will enlarge in addition to the Lymph nodes. Here cancer cells gain the ability to pass through and invade neighbouring tissues. This invasion and rapid growth of the lymphocytes can threaten to live, but the risk level is still moderate.
- Stage Two and Three – Regional Spread
In this stage cancer cells develop within the region. It may affect our immune system and anaemia will develop in this stage. This stage is quite risky than other two.
- Stage Four – Distant Spread
In this final stage, these cells enter into the blood stream and spread anywhere in the body.
Medical Treatments for Blood Cancer
Treatments may vary depend on your stage. But the most common treatments are;
It is nothing but drug treatment. It will help to slow down the multiplication and progression of the cancer cells.
It is nothing but using High Energy X-Rays to kills cancer cells.
- Transplant of Bone Marrow or Stem Cells
It is nothing but infusing healthy cells, stem cells, into your body and removing damaged cells.
Natural Treatments for Leukaemia
- Certain Herbs such as Garcinia Mangostana, Xanothenes..etc are good.
- Anti-oxidants (It is rich in Green Vegetables).
Prevention is better than Cure
It is important to know that how to prevent the risk of cancer. There are certain things if we follow, we can live a better life.
- Balanced Diet
- Avoid Junk Foods
- Reduce the exposure to radiation
- Quite Smoking
- Minimum 30 min jogging
- Drink at least 3 litres of water every day
- Reduce Alcoholic Beverages
- Maintain your body weight
Read more on How to Prevent Cancer
Survival Rate of Blood Cancer in India
According to the National Cancer Institute, the average survival rate is more than 60%.
CML – 63.2%
CLL – 84.8%
AML – 26%
ALL – 70.1%
Reference: - National Cancer Institute