September: Blood Cancer Awareness Month

Bhubaneswar: In this world, a person is diagnosed with leukaemia or blood cancer every 30 minutes. In order to raise awareness about this deadly disease and ways of its prevention, the month of September is observed as Blood Cancer Awareness Month. Besides promoting awareness, this practise also aims to support research into many types of blood cancers including Leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma.

Blood Cancer affects people of all age groups- from a 5-year-old to an ageing octogenarian. According to global reports, India and China have one of the highest number of cancer patients in the world. The disease adversely impacts the production and function of blood cells. These cancers start in the bone marrow but usually spread quickly in to the blood. Over time, it spreads to the lymph nodes, spleen, liver, spinal fluid and other organs.

Blood Cancer- Meaning

Blood cancers, also known as hematologic cancers, disrupt and destabilize the production and effective function of blood cells of the body. They first originate in the bone marrow and are broadly classified as acute and chronic. The growth of the chronic blood cancer is gradual and the symptoms appear slowly. In some cases, there are no visible symptoms at all. On the other hand, those suffering from acute blood cancer are likely to fall sick, experience fever accompanied with chills, fatigue, weakness, night sweats, pain in the bones and joints of the body, headaches and swollen lymph nodes.

Pic Credit- OPEN Health

People suffering from blood cancer becomes susceptible to various diseases and infections due to decrease in immunity power of the body. Besides, they may also experience prolonged bleeding of small cuts, unusual bruising, gum bleeding, blood in stool and heavy periods in case of women.

There are three main types of blood cancers viz. leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma.

Leukemia is a type of cancer found in your blood and bone marrow. It is caused by the rapid production of abnormal white blood cells. The high numbers of abnormal white blood cells are not able to fight infection and impair the ability of the bone marrow to produce red blood cells and platelets.

Lymphoma is a type of blood cancer that affects the lymphatic system, which removes excess fluids from your body and produces immune cells. Lymphocytes are a type of white blood cell that fights infection. Abnormal lymphocytes become lymphoma cells, which multiply and over time, these cancerous cells impair your immune system.

Myeloma is a type of blood cancer that specifically targets your plasma cells. Plasma cells are white blood cells that produce disease and infection fighting antibodies in your body. Myeloma cells prevent the normal production of antibodies, leaving your body’s immune system weakened and susceptible to infection.

Treatment for Blood Cancer

Pic Credit- Health site

If a person has been diagnosed with any one of the blood cancers, then his treatment is directly influenced by the kind of cancer, his age and how much the disease has progressed. After a close scrutiny of all these aspects, doctors may suggest chemotherapy, supportive care, stem cell transplantation for treatment.

Dealing with blood cancer and coming to terms with it is a traumatic experience for the victims as well as his family and loved ones. Therefore, September marks the blood cancer awareness month where organisations and individuals come together to undertake efforts for fighting cancer and spreading awareness about its symptoms, diagnosis and treatment.

Also Read: Health: Importance And Benefits Of Good Sleep

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