Blood cancers are also named hematologic cancers. They occur when there is a disruption in the production of blood cells. The synthesis of all blood cells usually takes place in the bone marrow. Bone marrow is the spongy focal center of the bone. Abnormal hematopoiesis in the bone marrow leads to abnormal growth of the blood cells. An increased number of immature and poorly developed white blood cells are responsible for blood cancer. All blood cells of the body originate from parent cells called stem cells. Red blood cells move oxygen to the body’s tissues.
An estimated figure of approximately 1.24 million populations is diagnosed with blood cancer worldwide annually, accounting for 6% of all cancer cases. Further, these multitudes seem to be increasing day by day, month by month. However, with evolving technology and skilled doctors in India, the blood cancer survival rates have also increased. The diagnosis of one getting blood cancer can be bizarre disclosure for anyone. But with the right guidance and proper approach at the right time, blood cancers are relatively curable now.
You can also be a blood cancer survivor. What you need is the correct guidance, treatment, and strategy for the stage of cancer.
Blood cancers attack the blood, bone marrow, and lymphatic system. There is a dysfunction in the production of cells in the bone marrow. And abnormal white blood cells are produced in large numbers. These changes wreak havoc on the synthesis of the other blood cells leading to a range of symptoms. Also, the deposits of the blood cancer cells elsewhere in the body present as a set of malignancies. However, the positive and the good news regarding the blood cancer treatment is that it is very easily accessible and has been advancing rapidly. Some chronic and slow-progressing blood cancers are monitored and given oral medication. But people with aggressive and acute blood cancers may need intense and presumptuous treatment like chemotherapy and seldom need radiation and stem cell transplantation. In conclusion, the type of blood cancer treatment advised for a patient varies according to the severity of cancer. The need and choices of the patient too are into consideration for the treatment.
BLOOD CANCER- INTRODUCTION
Blood cancers are also named hematologic cancers. They occur when there is a disruption in the production of blood cells. The synthesis of all blood cells usually takes place in the bone marrow. Bone marrow is the spongy focal center of the bone. Abnormal hematopoiesis in the bone marrow leads to abnormal growth of the blood cells. An increased number of immature and poorly developed white blood cells are responsible for blood cancer. All blood cells of the body originate from parent cells called stem cells. Red blood cells move oxygen to the body’s tissues. White blood cells help to fight infections and any other harmful invaders. Platelets are the blood cells that help the blood clot and help in ceasing at the bleeding sites. Blood cancer is primary cancer affecting the bone marrow.
BLOOD CANCER TYPES:
Depending upon the type of cells involved, it is of three main types:
Leukemia is cancer that originates from white blood cells while they are forming. In leukemia, the stem cells in the bone marrow make an increased number of abnormal white cells in the blood that don’t work, leading to a weakened immune system. Leukemia may also cause a reduced number of red blood cells and platelets.
The main types of leukemia are after the types of cells they originate from
Lymphocytic and myeloid leukemia is acute and progresses quickly. Or it can be chronic and would take months or years to develop.
Blood cancer or leukemia affects which gender predominantly?
Acute and chronic leukemia is higher in men than in women.
What age is affected by blood cancer?
Acute lymphocytic leukemia is a disease in children and young adults. Chronic lymphocytic leukemia appears in the elderly.
Acute myeloid occurs at all ages. And chronic lymphocytic leukemia is found in the middle ages.
Lymphoma is cancer that originates in the lymphocytes. The lymphocytes become abnormal and multiply. They create more abnormal cells that don’t work.
There are further two types of lymphoma:
In Hodgkin lymphoma, abnormal cells spread cancer uniformly from one lymph node to another. A non-Hodgkin lymphoma spreads in a non-orderly fashion.
Myeloma starts when there is a mistake with bone marrow while making plasma cells, a type of white cell in the blood. Plasma cells process antibodies to fight infections. Under the diseased condition, the plasma cells divide to make more myeloma cells resulting in monoclonal antibodies which fail to fight the infections. Also, a lack of immune cells and antibodies leaves the body susceptible to infections. Due to this, myeloma patients have low immunity and have high chances of infection. A consequential reduction of red blood cells and platelets in such malignancies leads to anemia and bleeding tendencies. Myeloma cells can build up anywhere in the body hence called multiple myeloma. Myeloma cells damage and break down nearby bones leading to increased calcium levels in the blood. Also, the kidney’s functionalities are disturbed.
Blood cancer symptoms vary according to the severity of the disease. If the disease condition is acute, there are aggressive symptoms related to the disease. While chronic, there might be symptoms that develop over a while. The common symptoms of blood cancer would include:
BLOOD CANCER TREATMENT IN INDIA
India boasts of advances in the medicinal field of blood cancer treatment. Blood cancer treatment in India has evolved round the clock. The best hospitals serve with a set of oncologists, hematologists, and bone marrow transplant physicians available at any given time. With the advancement in technology, India has observed a positive upward curve in the rate of remission of symptoms. Along with this, there are similar inferences related to the survival rate of the patients.
As per recent research in the blood cancer treatment in India, scientists have recognized a distinct gene mutation for steady and efficient outcomes. This recovery would only be possible provided the treatment is undertaken in the initial phase of the disease. With advanced technology, protocols, and specialist doctors in India, India can provide the best cancer care and outcomes with added cost-effective aspects.
We have a curated list of the best blood cancer treatment hospitals to assist your loved one to overcome the disease.
We have detailed each of the best hospitals concerning their group of specialists, accreditations, facilities, and convenience to help you evaluate the choices that are accessible for you. We trust that they will have the essentialities to treat your illness and convey the best ideal result.
Before starting cancer treatment, the primary concern is to analyze the cancer stage. Few investigations are required to determine the cancer stage. Based on the cancer stage, blood cancer treatment varies from person to person. Tests like scans, biopsies, and routine tests would be required depending upon the cancer stage. Blood cancer is determined as stages based on the level of metastasis. Metastasis is nothing but the deposition of abnormal cancer cells elsewhere in the body apart from its origin. According to the symptoms and the pace of metastasis, the various stages of blood cancer are differentiated.
Stage 1: The primary stage incorporates an increase in the lymph node size. This occurs because of the sudden abnormal multiplication of the lymphocytes. The prognosis of this stage is good considering there is no involvement of other parts of the body.
Stage 2: In the subsequent stage, the lymph nodes with the spleen and liver, get involved and enlarged. With the involvement of visceral organs, the abnormal growth of lymphocytes is exceptionally high at this stage.
Stage 3: At the level of this stage, the abnormal lymphocytes hamper the production of the other blood cells like red blood cells. There is a resultant anemic condition. Also, there is a spread of metastasis to more than two organs.
Stage 4: This is the last stage of blood cancer with a high-risk proportion. The number of platelets in the blood begins to drop rapidly. The impacted cells begin harming the lungs and different organs. The organs affected earlier get severely affected.
STEM CELL TRANSPLANTATION
Stem cell transplantation is a procedure in which the diseased bone marrow is replaced with the healthy bone marrow. This treatment would primarily involve relatively high doses of chemotherapy or high-frequency radiation to destroy the existing cancer cells in the bone marrow or the enlarged lymph nodes. The substitute healthy blood-forming hemopoietic stem cells are injected through a venous puncture. These stem cells produce normal and healthy blood cells for the proper and normal functioning of the body.
Stem cells from various sites are derived. Depending upon the sites the stem cell is derived from transplant procedure may be a Bone marrow transplant (BMT), a peripheral blood stem cell transplant, or a cord blood transplant, derived from the blood of the umbilical cord.
There are two main kinds of stem cell transplantation. They are named based on the donor of the stem cells.
The purpose is to replace the disease-causing agents – cancer cells with healthy cells. With the healthy cells in the body, there would naturally be a decrease in the symptoms leading to better living standards.
Chemotherapy is one of the majorly used blood cancer treatments. In this procedure, various chemicals are used to destroy the cancer cells. It is usually a milder form of treatment for blood cancer. It’s non-intensive and known to have fewer side effects when compared to other forms of treatment.
The treatment involves the usage of these chemicals which are specially designed to destroy the abnormal cancer cells. Along with eliminating the cancer cells the medicines equally work to hinder the multiplication of the cells. According to the disease condition and severity, the patient has advised a single type of drug or a combination. These may be in oral pill form or an intravenous route drug, injected into the body through the vein.
Radiation therapy is also one of the treatments used for destroying cancer cells in this procedure. In this therapy, high-intensity radiations are used to kill and stop the overgrowth of the disease-causing blood cancer cells. It would require you to lie on the table with a large radiation machine. The machine would revolve around you. It projects high-frequency radiations over the whole body. The radiation would focus on specific regions which have been affected by cancer. This therapy is recommended before stem cell transplantation.
This type of therapy would involve the killing of malignant blood cells. It is done precisely without harming the normal cells of the body. The main aim is to target the protein present in the cancer cells. It would help to seize the abnormal multiplication of the cancer cells. Also, it leads to apoptosis or suicide of the cancer cell.
The most common targeted therapies are monoclonal antibodies and small-molecule drugs.
Monoclonal antibodies: They specifically bind the cancer cells. Also, block the area adjacent to cancer.
Small molecule drugs: These small molecule drugs block the multiplication of the cancer cells. An example of these drugs is angiogenesis inhibitors which inhibit the formation of new blood vessels and capillaries. Nutrition to the tumor is from the new blood vessels. With proper nutrition, tumors continue to grow. Inhibition of new blood vessels results in starvation of cancer. And it naturally shrinks to death of the cancerous tissue.
This treatment activates the immune system to destroy cancer cells. It can work directly with the body’s immune system to slow growth and destroy cancer cells. Immunotherapy treatment is done for a week or several weeks. In most cases, you will receive a shot of immunotherapy into a vein over a few hours. There are few side effects of having immunotherapy. Depending upon the agent used may also differ from person to person. The treatments often may produce rashes or swelling at the injection area. It can also cause headaches, muscle aches, fever, and weakness. Immunotherapy destroys cancer cells by strengthening the immune system. It slows the growth of the cancer cells or destroys them.
Following are the types of Immunotherapy:
The fundamental target of most blood cancer therapies is a reduction in the symptoms and growth of the cancer cells. The cancer treatment is aimed at eliminating the malignant cells from the body. When your therapy seems to have been completed, your medical services group will accomplish more tests, like the ones done earlier for diagnosis. This is to recheck and verify if there are any cancer cells left out in the body. After confirming the condition, further treatment to be used may be advised. This would be according to the health and need of the patient.
The risk and complications regarding blood cancer treatment vary from person to person. Each of the cases may respond to the respective treatment differently. This may involve short term side effects and long term side effects
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