Blood cancer originates from bone marrow and interferes with production and functioning of blood cells which are responsible for production of blood. Stem cells therefore fail to mature into white, red blood cells and platelets through abnormal cancerous cells production hence the blood cannot fight infections or prevent excessive bleeding.
Types of Blood Cancer:
There exists three major types of blood cancer namely:
A) Leukemia: Leukemia results from production of abnormal white blood cells in large numbers which cannot fight infections thus incapacitating bone marrow in the production or red blood cells and platelets. The main Leukemia’s are Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) , Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML), Myelodysplastic syndrome(MDS)
B) Myeloma: Myeloma cells prevents normal production of antibodies by the plasma cells which fight infections therefore weakening a person’s immune system.
C)Non Hodgkin Lymphoma: In Non Hodgkin Lymphoma or NHL as it is called the lymphatic system generates immune cells after removal of excess body fluids .The cancerous lymphoma cells which are abnormal lymphocytes impair the immune system by collecting in lymph nodes and in body tissues.
Blood Cancer Treatment:
The blood cancer treatment options are chemotherapy to get the disease in remission followed by an bone marrow transplant.
The 2 types of Bone Marrow Transplants are :-
- Autologous stem cell transplantation
In an autologous transplant, the patient is then exposed to chemotherapy to kill the cancer cells present in their body system . Once the discease is n remission, the stem cells are collected and stored in extremely cold conditions or rather frozen.
This exposure may greatly incapacitate the stem cells from carrying out their duty of producing blood therefore the previously frozen stem cells are reintroduced to produce blood.
2. Allogenic stem cell transplantation
Unlike in Autologous stem cell transplantation, in allogenic transplant , stem cells from a donor are introduced into the blood cancer patient’s body after a suitable match is identified.
On receiving the donor stem cells , the host’ immune cells detects the blood cancer cells as foreign and attacks them through an immune response. The Allogenic treatment option has it’s shortcoming of the recipient’s body rejecting the donor stem cells.
The introduced stem cells growing on the patient’s immune system can attack the normal organs like skin,lungs and liver leading to malfunctions . In case the malfunctions occur, immuno suppresants are administered to the patient to mitigate the effects.
Early detection and intervention of blood cancer makes treatment easier and the chances of being cured are high. Regular check ups help.
Though still considered deadly, Leukemia is now curable provided detection and quality care and treatment can be offered in time.
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