Blood Cancer: All You Should Know About Leukaemia



Cancer is an abnormal growth of unhealthy cells which, if unchecked, leads to failure of organs and in many cases, death. One such cancer is Leukaemia, which affects your blood cells. The origins of the diseased cells can be traced to an individual’s bone marrow, which consists of soft tissues within the bones. The most common form of leukaemia causes abnormal white blood cells (called leukaemia cells) to grow faster than normal blood cells without an end. Usually, Leukaemia affects white blood cells, but some forms of leukaemia are known in other blood cells as well. In order to survive blood cancer treatment is necessary.
Leukaemia (Blood Cancer) can be grouped into two broad categories:
  • Leukaemia could either be Acute or Chronic, depending on the span of disease. Acute Leukaemia develops very quickly and depreciates the patient’s condition almost overnight Chronic Leukaemia is extremely slow and symptoms may not even develop for years.
  • Leukaemia could be Lymphocytic or Myelogenous, depending on the type of cells affected. Lymphocytic leukaemia affects white blood cells. Myelogenous leukaemia affects specific white blood cells called myelocytes.

Causes of Leukaemia (Blood Cancer)

Even after multiple, studies the cause of Leukaemia is still unknown. There are a few factors, however, which are known to increase the risk of developing blood cancer. They are as follows:
  • Exposure to high level of radiations can increase the risk of cancer.
  • Certain genetic disorders have been known to be associated with a high risk of blood cancer (like Down syndrome).
  • Exposure to certain chemicals like Benzene.
  • Infections.
  • Use of tobacco is known to increase the risk of acute myelogenous leukaemia.
  • Certain medical conditions like Pneumonia, sinusitis, chronic osteoarthritis have been associated with an increased risk of cancer too.
  • People with a medical history of cancer in their family run a heavier risk of developing cancer themselves.

Treatment


Following are the most common Blood Cancer Treatment options available:-

Chemotherapy

This is the most common treatment for cancer. In this method, cancer cells are specifically targeted and attacked without affecting healthy cells.

Immunotherapy

This is a highly advanced treatment process, and still largely experimental. Immunotherapy is usually carried out after chemotherapy, to reduce the chances of relapse. It increases the patients’ immunity in order to fight the growth of cancer naturally.

Bone Marrow Transplant

This is used as a consolidation/ post-remission therapy. Cancerous bone marrow is destroyed and replaced by a compatible donor or patient’s own bone marrow.
Radiation therapy
High energy radiation is targeted on the DNA of cancer cells accumulated within the organs. This prevents them from multiplying.
Supportive treatments
The above-mentioned treatments are quite taxing on the patient’s body. The risk of infection or bleeding is high after such a treatment. The risk of bleeding and infection will rise and hence supportive treatments will be required.

Blood Cancer Treatment in India

There aren’t many Blood Cancer Hospitals in India. Premium private hospitals provide quality healthcare to their patients, albeit for quite a huge sum of money. It is important though, that you check all available hospitals for provided treatments, effectiveness, get in touch with other patients, talk to a counsellor, etc. In order to get the right oncologist doctor and best hospital for treatment.

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