Cancer is a scary word. But when you know all the facts, knowledge and understanding can reduce the fear. Find out everything you need to know about cancer and its effects...

Blood Cancer

Cancer of the Blood

Blood cancer is a term used to describe various types of cancer which attack blood, bone marrow or the lymphatic system. There are three distinct different forms of Blood Cancer.

Leukaemia

Leukaemia is cancer of the cells of the blood and is marked by an increase in the number of white blood cells in the blood. People with Leukaemia may have fevers, chills, night sweats, flu like symptoms, feel fatigued for no reason, have significant joint pain, unexplained weight loss and neurological symptoms such as headaches if the cancer has invaded the central nervous system.

Diagnosing Leukaemia is done through complete blood counts and bone marrow examination. Blood tests however do not always detect blood cancers including Leukaemia as they may not show up if the blood cancer is in its early stages. Following diagnosis blood work is done to find out the level of damage done to the liver and kidneys, and often X Rays, an MRI, CT Scans and Ultrasounds are used to check on the various organs of the body. Treating Leukaemia Blood Cancer is typically done using prescription medications and radiation therapy.

Myeloma

Myeloma is cancer of plasma cells in the blood stream. Typically the first sign of myeloma is significant bone pain caused by destruction of plasma cells in the bone. Other symptoms often include bleeding gums, bruises that easily develop on the body and unexplained nose bleeds. Signs that the blood cancer has gained significant headway in the body and may be in the late stages are bone fractures that happen for no reason, infections, kidney failure and weight loss.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Myeloma

Suspected Melanoma patients go through a series of X Ray scans of the skeleton called a skeletal survey. The doctors look for abnormal lesions of the bone structure. Often times a MRI is used as a more sensitive tool to detect lesions of the blood. Bone Marrow Biopsies are also often used.

Treating Myeloma Blood Cancer is typically focused on containing the cancer and suppressing it. This is often done using high dose chemotherapy and stem cell transplant is often used after chemotherapy. Typically myeloma cancer does relapse after treatment.

Lymphoma

Lymphoma is the blood cancer which affects the Lymphatic System. Diagnosis of the Lymphoma Blood Cancer involves biopsy of the lymph nodes as well as MRIs and X rays to detect cancerous growths. Treating Lymphoma involves very heavy doses of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. These often allow people with Lymphoma to live a near normal life span but it should be noted that Lymphoma is not curable. Treatment also typically concentrates on reducing pain and patient comfort in later stages of Lymphoma.

Early Detection Is Important

When it comes to cancer early detection is important when it comes to treatment of cancer. Many cancer patients who had their cancer detected at an early stage often live near normal life spans and typically stand a better chance of curing blood cancer. Having your yearly exams at your health care provider is key to success.