Carcinophobic? Minimise Your Cancer Risk and Educate Yourself About Blood Cancer Treatment!
Clocks are ticking away; days are passing by. Each day, you flip through your newspapers to see a new advancement made in the field of medicine and technology, yet you never come across an invention that gives a ray of hope to the patients undergoing blood cancer treatment.
I perhaps remember a little proverb that has never left my mind and that which I feel is the most sensible phrase my teacher has taught me. It is one such proverb that if understood very well, it could have saved some countless lives to date.
Okay! So, here it is. I enter my classroom every day and as soon as I settle down and stare up at the blackboard, one single quotation written at the corner of the board catches my attention and it says “Prevention is better than cure.”
But there should be a tagline underneath which reads “Terms and conditions apply.” You ask why? It is probably because cancer is one such dreadful disease which is inevitable if it runs in your family and you cannot really prevent it, though you can detect it at an early stage and take the necessary precautions by preventing the cells from multiplying.
Cancer That Occurs Because Of Genes Is A Pure Bad Luck But, You Can Control Other External Factors!
Hereditary is, of course, one reason for you to become the victim of cancer, but there are certain other factors which contribute to the occurrence of this illness, which can be very well controlled by you.
Have you ever contemplated deeply about the reason behind an increase in the number of death rates caused because of cancer? If yes, you will be shocked to discover some of these lifestyle habits that can cause the cells in your body to multiply rapidly leading to the formation of tumours.
If you are carcinophobic, i.e., if you have a fear of being attacked with cancer, you must be vigilant hereafter and make sure that you change your lifestyle habits to prevent yourself from being a victim of this dreadful disease.
A Sedentary Lifestyle Can Cause Three Types Of Cancer
You think you have strained and stressed yourself too much after working for prolonged hours, but you have been so vigorously putting your mind at stress, you forget that you are lacking the amount of physical activity that your body usually requires.
Sitting for long and extended hours continuously not only puts you on a line with the risk of obesity and cardiovascular diseases but also increases your risk of colon cancer, lung cancer and endometrial cancer.
If your job requires you to sit continuously, you cannot, however, escape this, which is why you must incorporate some physical activity in your daily life.
If you feel you have no time to work out, wake up early in the dawn, get into the right outfit and perform some nice stretches and moves, while you get sun-kissed.
Do You Know That Alcohol Can Cause Breast Cancer?
Drinking alcohol “every once in a while” can be good for your heart, can fight cold, burn your fat and increase your memory. But a majority of the female population in U.K are being detected with breast cancer because of small portions of alcohol consumption daily on a regular basis.
Apart from breast cancer, heavy drinking can also make you susceptible to mouth, throat, bowel, and oesophageal cancer.
Make sure you do not consume alcohol more than your permissible limits because when you drink alcohol in higher amounts, it increases the levels of oestrogen which further leads to the increased cell division and cause breast cancer.
Reduce The Consumption Of These Foods
Does food really harm you? Foods are never really harmful unless you are allergic to it, or unless you consume it in more than the required amounts. You can consume the below-mentioned foods, once in a while, but you have to make sure that you do not consume them in excess amounts.
1) Processed meat
2) Red meat
3) Canned tomatoes
4) Smoked foods (meat and fish are the most commonly smoked foods)
5) Refined sugars (Sugars which are extracted by processing)
6) Aerated drinks
7) Hydrogenated oils
8) Chips and snacks that are deeply fried
9) Meats that are cooked at very high temperatures
10) Farmed raised salmon (It is usually high in cancer-causing pollutants)
How Does Excessive Exposure To Sun Cause Skin Cancer?
If you can feel a burning sensation on your skin after being exposed to intense sun rays, it is probably because the ultraviolet rays have been penetrating deep into your skin and damaging your DNA. If there is a constant exposure to sun rays, this may cause a continuous damage to your DNA and cause an uncontrollable increase in the number of cells in your body which ultimately leads to skin cancer.
Let us know in detail about what is blood cancer, what are various causes of blood cancer, different blood cancer stages and blood cancer treatment
What Is Blood Cancer?
Do you know that over 10 billion white blood cells are being generated in your bone marrow every day? But surprisingly, your white blood cells constitute to only 1% of your blood plasma.
When a person is affected with blood cancer, either his immune system or these small percentage of white blood cells (also called leucocytes) present in the bone marrow get affected, which is why the disease has been termed as leukaemia.
But leukaemia is only one type of the most commonly occurring types of blood cancer, the other two being lymphoma and myeloma.
A Quick Knowledge Of Bone Marrow!
Bone marrow is basically of two different types which are red marrow and yellow marrow.
The red blood cells (erythrocytes) along with blood platelets (thrombocytes) and some white blood cells (leukocytes) are created in your red bone marrow.
Some white blood cells can be generated in your yellow bone marrow too, but this marrow typically consists of more number of fat cells, which is why it has acquired that colour and has been named as yellow bone marrow.
Blood Cancer Types
1) Leukaemia (Cancer of white blood cells or leucocytes)
2) Lymphoma (Cancer of lymph nodes)
3) Myeloma (Plasma cells become cancerous)
Warning Signs Of Blood Cancer. Blood Cancer Symptoms
You would never want to be affected with cancer come what may, but the following are some blood cancer symptoms which you must be aware of in order to dodge away from a painful blood cancer treatment.
- A sudden weight loss
- Tiredness and exhaustion
- Shortness of breath
- Joint pains or bone pains
- Heavy bleeding in women
- An occurrence of red spots under the skin
- Easy bruising or easy bleeding
- Constant itchiness on the skin
- Being easily prone to infections
- Profuse sweating during the night
- Abdominal pain or back pain
Swollen lymph nodes i.e. swelling in the areas of neck, groin areas and armpits because these are the areas where large groups of lymph nodes are present.
Know The Reason For Blood Cancer And Put Yourself In A Safe Zone!
Being affected with cancer can be a terrible experience as it requires a lot of willpower and courage to battle with a disease that destroys a person both physically as well as mentally.
A constant medication, excruciating painful chemotherapy sessions and the whole journey of this unexplainable punishing struggle can beat a person down to his knees, but I see people who emerge into much stronger personalities once their war with cancer is over.
Their perception of life changes completely because they start appreciating little things in life and they develop a sense of compassion towards people and their life overall.
It is high time for you to know various causes of blood cancer so that you wouldn’t want to experience such gruelling and harsh blood cancer treatment.
Various Causes Of Blood Cancer
How Can You Inherit Cancer From Your Ancestors, Grandparents Or Parents?
You might have probably heard of something called “mutation” and that this very process is the main reason for the emergence of cancer. Here is a clear explanation of what exactly is mutation and how it is responsible for causing cancer.
The cells in your body contain chromosomes which carry DNA. There are 46 chromosomes on the whole and the cells in a female body contain two X chromosomes, that is ‘XX’ (23 such pairs = 46 chromosomes) whereas a male body contains one X chromosome and one Y chromosome that is ‘XY’ (23 such pairs =46 chromosomes)
If you acquire one X chromosome from your mother’s reproductive cells and another Y chromosome from your father’s reproductive cells, it makes it a pair of ‘XY’ which determines your gender as a male.
If you acquire an X chromosome from your mother’s reproductive cells and another X chromosome from your father’s reproductive cells, it makes it a pair of ‘XX’ which determines your gender as a female.
Unfortunately, these reproductive cells (egg cells and sperm cells) can transfer the mutations to their offspring while transferring their chromosomes and this is how cancer is acquired through genes.
Mutation refers to change in the structure of genes (copied genes, damaged genes or a lost gene) but, a gene has to undergo many mutations to turn a healthy cell into a cancerous cell. If you are really unfortunate to be susceptible to all these conditions, you can inherit cancer from your parents and this is why hereditary cancer is referred to as a very rare type of cancer.
You will be surprised to know that a weak immune system can increase the cancer risk. The evidence for this being, number of age-old people getting affected by cancer.
People who have a weaker immune system can easily attract bacteria and viruses into their cells which is the main reason for the emergence of various infections which can ultimately lead to cancer.
However, you have to note that poor immunity mandatorily does not cause cancer but it does increase the cancer risk.
Down Syndrome Can Be One Of The Causes Of Cancer
Down syndrome is a condition in which the 21st pair of chromosome produces an extra copy which is why the condition is referred to as trisomy-21. This disorder causes various symptoms like dwarfism (being short), a broad face, weak muscles, a short neck, low immunity, poor concentration levels, difficulty in understanding.
People who suffer from downs syndrome may have a chance of developing cancer, but the reason behind this is unknown.
A Few Infections Can Cause Blood Cancer
A typical virus named Epstein Barr virus, which belongs to the herpes family is known to cause many diseases and sadly blood cancer is one of those diseases. The virus is responsible for invading into the human cells and causing abnormal replication of these cells. Apart from this, a virus named Human T-lymphotropic virus type-1 (HTLV-1) can also trigger blood cancer.
Blood Cancer Stages
While the occurrence of cancer is not in your hands, the good news is that you can prevent the situation from worsening by being able to detect cancer during its early stages and by taking necessary precautions to avoid the further replication and growth of these cancerous cells.
You need to get acknowledged with various blood cancer stages and know that blood cancer treatment varies according to various stages in order to prevent the disease from costing your life.
Blood cancer stages can be categorised into four different stages which can be recognised by the following conditions at each stage
Stage 0 (In-Situ)
This stage is the very primary stage of cancer and it indicates that cancer has just started emerging and is located in the exact place where it has developed. Therefore, it is a safe indication that cancer has not yet spread to the other locations of your body.
In situ refers to “in the original place” which justifies the meaning of cancer in situ, which is completely harmless if detected early.
Stage 1 (Localised Spread)
Stage 1 of cancer is completely curable, but there is a need to keep a check on your internal condition and maintain a healthy lifestyle as cancer can revert back at any stage of your life. Blood cancer treatment at Stage 1 is usually performed by radiation or surgery and sometimes both these modes of treatment can be implemented based on the severity of the condition.
Stage 1 cancer, however, indicates that the cancerous cells have begun to spread to the nearby tissues and lymph.
Stage 2 Or Stage 3 Cancer (Regional Spread)
You can still hope for the treatment and recovery, at stage 2 or stage 3 of cancer, but these stages of cancer indicate that cancer has spread to most of your tissues and has rooted itself deeper into most of your nearby tissues, but the good news is that cancer has not affected your organs or organ systems. This stage of cancer can be considered as an advanced stage but most of the cases have still been treated at this stage.
Stage 4 Or Final Stage Of Cancer (Distant Spread)
This stage can be easily identified because the cancerous cells which were primarily seen at the original site of development have now emerged into large-sized tumours that have completely spread into other parts of your body.
Stage four of cancer is scientifically termed as metastasis and various organs and organ systems get widely affected at such an advanced stage of cancer, but the disease is still curable in some of the cases. Blood cancer treatment is extremely difficult which is why doctors cannot give you much hope about the survival, once the patient has reached the final stage of cancer.
Is Blood Cancer Curable?
The most common question that creates a sense of nervousness and apprehension among us is “Is blood cancer curable?”
The answer to this question is dependent upon the stage of cancer. The chance of being cured reduces as the stage of cancer increases. Blood cancer treatment in stage four is not impossible to be cured, but it is more unlikely to cure the disease as the tumours get spread to different parts of the body vigorously.
Blood Cancer Survival Rate
With the increasing awareness among people about cancer, lifestyle changes that people are adapting in order to prevent cancer, the new advancements that are helping people to detect cancer at an early stage, blood cancer survival rate has seemingly increased and the statistics prove that the survival rate is further going to increase in the coming years.
The following statistics give a clear idea about the increase in the blood cancer survival rate of various blood cancer types from the years 2012 to 2016
Type of cancer Percentage of survival rate
Hodgkin lymphoma 94.3%
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma 72.6%
How To Cure Blood Cancer?
Blood cancer treatment depends upon the stage of the blood cancer and the parts of the body where the disease has progressed because there is no single mode of treatment for all kinds of cancer. The following are various modes of blood cancer treatment.
Stem Cell Transplantation
Chemotherapy is a common blood cancer treatment that is adapted for destroying the cancer cells but sometimes, it so happens that, in an attempt to destroy the cancer cells, a large number of stem cells get destroyed, but stem cells are required for the production of the blood cells in our body.
To regenerate the stem cells that are being deteriorated, stem cell transplantation is performed and this therapy is performed to cure any kind of blood cancer like lymphoma, leukaemia or multiple myeloma.
How To Treat Blood Cancer By Chemotherapy?
The main purpose of chemotherapy is to induce drugs into the human body in order to destroy the cancerous cells so that they are not spread to other tissues and organs of your body. The invasion of these drugs can either happen by injecting them into the skin or they can directly be taken by mouth.
Chemotherapy sessions are usually conducted in the form of cycles because the human body requires the stamina and capability to take rest before it undergoes another chemotherapy session.
Radiation Therapy To Kill Cancer Cells
Apart from chemotherapy and stem cell transplantation, radiation therapy is also used as part of blood cancer treatment in which some high-intensity radio waves are sent into your body, to kill the dangerous cancerous cells and prevent the spread of these cells into further parts of your body
But, radiation therapy is only used to treat cancers that have spread to some critical parts of your body like brain or testicles.