Leukaemia, commonly known as blood cancer, is one of the most lethal forms of cancer that impacts individuals across all age groups—from children to adults and older adults. Globally, it accounts for 3.9% of cancer-related deaths.
The world observes September as Blood Cancer Awareness Month to spread education about blood cancer, its symptoms, and treatments. Knowing what this cancer is and what treatments are available in your country, is very important to fight against it. The sooner one gets treatment for leukaemia, the more the chances are to recover.
We are committed to educating people about chronic health diseases and the importance of prevention. Adopting preventive care practices and a healthy lifestyle is a defence against various chronic conditions, including cancer. Prevention helps avert the onset of illnesses and mitigate their severity if they do occur.
What is Blood cancer?
Haematologic cancers are the ones that begin in the blood-forming tissues of the body.
Blood cancer is the cancer of blood cells or the bone marrow tissue. It happens whenever there is a change in the blood cells’ DNA or a mutation. This DNA instructs the blood cells to function, and it thus multiplies fast. Thus, the human body develops abnormal blood cells that keep growing fast and constrict the space in the bone marrow.
Three types of blood cancer are as follows-
What are the symptoms of Blood Cancer?
This cancer can have the following symptoms.
- Fever and chills
- Persistent fever with weight loss
- Night sweats
- Unusual bleeding and bruising
- Swollen lymph nodes and enlarged liver and spleen
- Frequent infections
- Tiny red spots on the skin
- Bone pain
However, a person with blood cancer may not develop the above symptoms. It is always advisable to consult a physician if any symptoms persist.
How do physicians detect Blood Cancer?
Detecting leukaemia involves specific methods. Often, the symptoms associated with blood cancer can overlap with other diseases. Therefore, consulting with an oncologist is highly advisable if someone experiences symptoms indicative of leukaemia.
- Complete Blood Count (CBC): This test evaluates the composition of blood cells, and abnormalities can indicate blood cancer. An imbalance, such as a lower count of white blood cells (WBC) compared to red blood cells (RBC), may suggest a potential blood infection.
- CT Scan (Computed Tomography): A CT scan provides a 3D image of blood tissues and bones. A CT scan identifies potential bone damage, if the physician suspects myeloma.
- MRI scans can also help diagnose blood cancer.
- PET Scans are quite effective in identifying blood cancer like myeloma.
- Biopsy reports of the bone marrow are one of the effective ways to detect blood cancer.
What are the available treatments?
Cancer is complex, and treatment choice often depends on various factors, including the type and stage of cancer, and individual patient characteristics. Patients may respond differently to various treatments; personalized approaches are common in cancer care. Thus, many treatment options are available depending on the type of infection.
Let us look at some of the common treatments-
- Chemotherapy is one of the most common treatments for cancer. It uses certain powerful chemicals to stop the growth of cancer cells in the body parts. It is a systematic medication given to patients over a long time in sessions to stop the cancer-growing cells. Oncologists widely use chemotherapy to slow down the progress of blood cancer.
- Immunotherapy is another effective way to target blood cancer cells. It works by increasing the efficiency of the immune cells to fight back blood cancer.
- Radiation therapy is yet another way to treat blood cancer. It uses radiation to target the abnormal cells and damage the DNA of those cells. As a result, the cancer growth may stop. Physicians combine other therapies with radiation therapy.
- CAR T-cell therapy is quite similar to immunotherapy. It uses the T Cell of the patient to fight cancer. In this innovative approach, T cells enhance the cancer-fighting capabilities, offering a promising avenue for treating leukaemia.
- Stem cell transplant is effectively used in treating blood cancer. Collecting and storing bone marrow stem cells helps a lot in this. Sometimes, the bone marrow is transplanted from a healthy person.
Preventing blood cancer in 2023
Leukaemia develops due to certain genetic and environmental factors. We can prevent any disease, including Cancer by following a healthy lifestyle. Exercise, eating the right amount and type of food, proper sleep, etc., can help us lead a long and healthy life.
Prevention and a healthy lifestyle increase our immunity to fight back cancer and other chronic diseases. Let us look at some of prevention techniques-
- Consuming foods that are organically treated, especially wheat, vegetables, etc. Properly cooked food is healthy and good for the gut.
- Shifting to an organic life by making changes in routine.
- Doing exercise regularly.
- Maintaining a healthy weight.
- Using iron, steel, copper kitchenware. Kitchenware made of Teflon and other such things pave the way to allow cancer cells into our bloodstream.
- Limiting the use of cosmetic products that contain excessive chemicals.
- Consuming lots of natural antioxidants from vegetables, fruits, etc.
- Getting a screening test if you have a family history of blood cancer.
- Limiting radiation exposure, especially from mobile phones, laptops, and routers.
- Avoid smoking and use of any tobacco.
A note with care from ZeaMed
We know that leukaemia is a serious disease that may affect anybody worldwide. We also realize that several people suffer from leukaemia and have a hard life. ZeaMed salutes those who are living courageously with it. It really takes a lot to endure the pain of the treatments. With the advancement in time and medical expertise, new techniques and medications are coming up to cure leukaemia.
We encourage people to switch to a healthy lifestyle because prevention is always better than cure. Stay proactive and take regular checkups to avoid chronic conditions in the first place.
Regular checkups also help detect Cancers in the early stages. The chances of treatment and recovery in early stages are higher than in the later stages of cancer. So, don’t delay screenings and break the cancer chain.
We urge you to take proactive steps against cancer by taking preventive measures.
Prevent Cancer! Let’s save our families.