Don’t Let Blood Cancer Take the Life Blood out of You
Cancer is one disease that has been around for centuries. But to date, with all the advances in the field of medicine and technology, there is no sure-shot cancer cure. Cancerous formations can attack any part of the human anatomy. Blood cancer is a very deadly form of the disease and the cancerous cells multiply very rapidly and attack different parts of the circulatory system. Apart from attacking the blood & the lymphatic system, cancerous cells can also attack the bone marrow.
Types of Cancer and Their Symptoms
There are 3 basic types of blood cancer and each of these might include a number of variations. Here are the main categories:
In this condition, the sudden growth in the number of cancerous cells affects either the blood or the marrow. These have a negative impact on the circulatory systems’ ability to produce blood. The symptoms of this blood cancer are:
- Extreme Weakness
- Excessive sweating
- Shortness of breath
- Swelling in lymph nodes
- Vulnerable to infection
The cancer formation that affects lymphocytes is called lymphoma. Lymphocytes are a type of white blood corpuscles. The cancer symptoms are:
- Swollen lymphatic node
- Loss of appetite
- Loss of weight
- Night sweating
- Bouts of chill
In some cases there may be nausea, food aversion, fatigue and coughing
In Myeloma, the plasma which is a type of white blood cell is affected by cancerous growth. The symptoms of myeloma are:
- Aching back
- Shortness of breath
- Susceptibility to infection
- Bouts of numbness
- Bouts of chest pain
- Kidney problems in later stages
What Causes Blood Cancer?
The exact causes of blood cancer are not known, but most of the factors are connected to its development. Blood cancers are more prevalent in older people while some may be genetic. A weakened immune system can increase cancer risk and so do some infections.
Blood Tests for Cancer
CBC or complete blood count is the common blood test that is taken to help in diagnosing some blood cancers, like leukaemia & lymphoma. They can be used to deduce if the cancer has now spread into the bone marrow. In addition, the tests also help in determining how the patient’s body is tolerating all the cancer treatments. This helps doctors in ascertaining what the appropriate line of treatment should be.
Blood Cancer Treatment
Depending on various factors there are different therapies that will be used in the treatment of blood cancer:
- Biological therapy
- Stem cell transplant- this treatment provides healthy stem cells which will be able to produce healthy blood cells
- Targeted therapy for attacking specific cancer cells/ signalling proteins
Based on the condition of the patient, some additional treatment will be given and may include:
- Anti-nausea medications
- Pain medications
- Blood transfusions
- Dental care for managing oral symptoms of chemotherapy / leukaemia
- Vaccinations for prevention of diseases such as pneumonia and flu
Though there is not much you can do to prevent blood cancer, there are some cancer-fighting foods that can be consumed which go a long way in reducing the risk of cancer. Ideally, an anti-cancer diet should include:
- Berries like blueberries, blackberries & strawberries
- Cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli & cabbage
- Green Tea
- Whole grains like brown rice, barley, oatmeal, barley, whole-wheat pasta & bread Turmeric
- Leafy Green Vegetables
- Kidney Beans and Pinto Beans
The Secret to Good Health
It has to be understood that just as there is no miracle cure for blood cancer, there is also no miracle anti- blood cancer diet that can prevent you from contracting the dreaded disease. But eating healthy helps the body tackle all kinds of infections in an effective manner; it keeps the body well nourished and creates an atmosphere within your body that is not conducive to blood cancer. Eating healthy and maintaining healthy habits can help in keeping illnesses at bay.
Have you come across cancer patients who have had remarkable recovery stories that go beyond radiation and chemotherapy? Please share. It will be useful for all.