Blood cancers are broadly speaking of three types -leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma.In most blood cancers, normal blood cell development process is interrupted by uncontrolled growth of an abnormal type of blood cell and bone marrow is affected.These abnormal blood cells, or cancerous cells, prevent the blood from performing many of its functions, like fighting off infections or preventing serious bleeding.
The diagnosis of blood cancer is supported by findings of the medical history and examination, and examining blood and bone marrow samples under a microscope.
Treatment of leukemia depends on the type of leukemia, certain features of the leukemia cells, the extent of the disease, and prior history of treatment, as well as the age and health of the patient.
Hematologists can treat blood cancer with chemotherapy, radiotherapy or a stem cell transplant. The treatment options are based on type of blood disorder/ cancer, its stage, severity and progression and patient’s general health.
The doctor can describe treatment choices, the expected results, and the possible side effects. Patient and doctor can work together to develop a treatment plan that meets patients medical and personal needs.
Are blood cancers inherited?
No. There is very little evidence that these diseases are inherited. There are genetic components to the diseases and often there are alterations in the DNA but the cause of these changes is unknown.
What are the common side effects of the treatment?
The most common side effects are fever, breathing difficulties, hives or rashes, rapid heartbeat, confusion, and redness or pain at the IV site.
What is the difference between acute leukemia and chronic leukemia?
Acute leukemia gets worse quickly. In chronic leukemia, symptoms develop gradually and are generally not as severe as in acute leukemia.