Understanding the Different Types of Blood Cancer and the Significance of Early Diagnosis
Otherwise known as haematological cancer, blood cancer is an oncogenic disorder affecting the blood, lymphatic system and bone marrow. The complexly diverse ailment can be challenging to understand as there are different types of blood cancer, but understanding the treatment options is crucial. Before you begin searching for what this cancer is and what are blood cancer treatment procedures, let’s understand the different types of blood cancers.
Types of Blood Cancer:
There are three main types of blood cancer: leukaemia, lymphoma, and myeloma. Let's take a closer look at each type.
Leukaemia affects the blood and bone marrow. It happens due to the overproduction of abnormal white blood cells, which interferes with the production of normal blood cells. Leukaemia can be acute or chronic and can be further classified into four subtypes:
- Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML)
- Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL)
- Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL), and
- Chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML).
Lymphoma is a type of blood cancer affecting the lymphatic system, responsible for producing and storing white blood cells. It occurs due to the overproduction of abnormal lymphocytes, which can form tumours in the lymph nodes, spleen, and other organs.
Myeloma is a type of blood cancer that affects the plasma cells, or the white blood cell producing antibodies to fight infections. It is characterized by the overproduction of abnormal plasma cells, which can form tumours in the bone marrow.
The significance of early detection
Early detection of blood cancer can lead to earlier treatment, which can improve the chances of survival. Early treatment can prevent the disease from spreading and reduce the risk of complications. It can also improve the effectiveness of treatment and reduce the need for aggressive treatment options.
Symptoms of Blood Cancer:
The symptoms of blood cancer can vary depending on the type and stage of the disease. Some common symptoms of blood cancer include fatigue, weakness, fever, unexplained weight loss, night sweats, swollen lymph nodes, and easy bruising or bleeding.
Diagnosis of Blood Cancer:
Blood cancer diagnosis usually begins with a physical examination and medical history. Blood tests and bone marrow biopsies may also be performed to confirm the diagnosis. Imaging tests, such as X-rays, CT scans, and MRI scans, may also be used to determine the extent of the disease.
Treatment of Blood cancer
- Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy uses drugs to destroy cancer cells and prevent them from dividing and growing. Chemotherapy can be administered orally or intravenously, and it proceeds in cycles over weeks or months.
- Radiation Therapy: This treatment option uses high-energy X-rays or other types of radiation to destroy cancer cells. It is often used in combination with chemotherapy to treat blood cancer. Radiation therapy can be administered externally or internally.
- Stem Cell Transplant: In this treatment, the diseased bone marrow is replaced with healthy bone marrow stem cells. There are two types of stem cell transplants: autologous and allogeneic.
- Targeted Therapy: This treatment alternative uses drugs that target specific proteins or genes that help cancer cells grow and divide. It is often used in combination with chemotherapy to treat blood cancer.
- Immunotherapy: It involves stimulating the immune system to fight cancer cells. Immunotherapy can treat some types of blood cancer, such as lymphoma and leukaemia.
In addition, sometimes surgical intervention may also be required to remove an enlarged spleen due to lymphoma or leukaemia. Need more informationabout blood cancer treatment? Reach out to the professionals at Ace Medicare now!