What should I know about blood cancer?

A cancer of blood-forming tissue, which hinders the body’s ability to fight infection.

Leukemia refers to cancer of blood-forming tissues including bone marrow. There are many types of leukemia: acute lymphoblastic, chronic lymphocytic, and acute myeloid.

Patients with slow-growing leukemias may not experience symptoms. Patients with leukemias that are rapidly growing may experience fatigue, weight loss, frequent infection, easy bleeding, or bruising.

The treatment is variable. Monitoring may be necessary for slow-growing leukemias. Treatment for aggressive leukemias may include chemotherapy, which is sometimes followed by stem-cell transplantation and radiation.

Some blood cancers are now more common than others.

Every three minutes, someone is diagnosed with blood cancer. Every nine minutes, someone will die of it. These numbers are alarming, but there is good news about this disease. The National Foundation for Cancer Research reports that survival rates have increased significantly due to decades of research and advances in treatment.

Although there are many types of blood cancers, they all share some commonalities.

Cancer is caused by damaged or abnormal cells that grow out of control and spread throughout the body. There are over 100 types of cancer. Many types of cancer are caused by abnormal growths, or damage to cells. Some are caused by abnormal growth of blood cells in bone marrow, resulting in blood cancer. These abnormal blood cells can’t function normally. There are three types of blood cells. Each one has a different job.

  • White cells are essential for fighting infection and form part of the body’s immune system.
  • Red cells transport oxygen throughout the body.
  • The blood clots after an injury like a cut or bruise with platelets.

 

Patients with blood cancer are now being offered better treatments that increase their survival rates.

September is Blood Cancer Awareness Month. This month aims to raise awareness about blood cancer and highlight the achievements in fighting this type of cancer. The 5-year survival rates of blood cancers in the 1960s were low. Only 12-14 percent of patients survived five years after being diagnosed with leukemia or lymphoma. These numbers are significantly higher today! The 5-year survival rate has risen for:

Leukemia: Patients with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia live an average of 71.7 percent five years after being diagnosed. Patients with Chronic Lymphocytic leukemia have a 5-year survival rate of 88.2 percent.

Hodgkin Lymphoma – 88.5 percent of all patients are still alive five years after diagnosis. 94.4 percent is for those under 45

Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma – 74.7 percent of all patients are still alive five years after diagnosis.

Myeloma: 53.7% of patients survive 5 years after diagnosis. 76.2 percent are younger than 45.

The best advice is to consult blood-related doctors. The ones who are trained in dealing with blood-related problems are called hematologists. The Best hematologist in India provides the best treatment for blood-related cancers. This is a fact that most people don’t realize. This will be a reminder to everyone on Feb 5, World Cancer Day.

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