Blood cancers affect the production and function of your blood cells. Most of these cancers start in your bone marrow, where blood is produced. Stem cells in your bone marrow mature and develop into three types of blood cells: red blood cells, white blood cells, or platelets. In most blood cancers, the normal blood cell development process is interrupted by the uncontrolled growth of an abnormal type of blood cell.
Regarding blood cancer According to Dr. Anushree Chaturvedi, Cancer Department, Infinity Care Hospital Varanasi, blood cells are classified into three types: red blood cells (RBCs), white blood cells (WBCs), and platelets. Leukemia is associated with cancer of the WBCs and is rarely associated with red blood cells and premature platelets. It can affect a person of any age. There are two types of leukaemia – acute and chronic. In acute leukemia, the condition develops and worsens rapidly, whereas, in chronic leukemia, the condition worsens over time. There are different treatment options for leukemia, but the course of treatment is decided based on the type of leukemia the patient has.
When the DNA of white blood cells is damaged, leukemia develops. Cancer cells grow in the bone marrow, which is the normal site of blood production after childhood. This results in poor production of healthy blood cells due to the replacement of marrow with cancer cells. These new cells are not only unhealthy but also abnormal, and they live longer than normal cells and have unlimited proliferative capacity. These cells stay in the bone marrow and prevent healthy blood cells from growing and functioning normally. Due to this, more cancer cells are present in the blood than healthy cells.
Symptoms arise depending on which blood cell production is affected and which cancer cells are multiplying rapidly.
In blood clotting, platelets play an important role. Due to marrow replacement, platelet production is affected. In some, the functions of platelets also change. As a result, it is easy to cause wounds or bleed. Small red and purple spots are formed on the body, which is called petechiae or unitamosis.
B) Frequent infection
One of the important functions of white blood cells is to protect the body from infection. At times, when the white blood cells fail to function properly and are insufficient in numbers, one can easily get affected by the infection. A simple infection in a normal person can become fatal in a leukemic patient. They may have fever, chills, redness at the site of infection, cough, or any other symptom depending on which organ is affected.
Leukemic cell leakage can cause gingivitis, bleeding, painless lymph node swelling, enlarged liver, spleen, headache, seizures, difficulty in breathing, jaundice, etc.
Treatment for leukemia depends on the age of the person, their health, and the type of leukemia they are suffering from. The most preferred treatment for leukemia is chemotherapy. If this treatment is adopted at an early stage, then the chances of a person recovering are high.
Infinity Care Hospital, Varanasi provides the following leukemia treatment:
II) Targeted therapy
III) Interferon therapy
iv) Radiation treatment
v) stem cell transplant