Blood Cancer Life Expectancy
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Blood cancer life expectancy varies from person to person and from the type and stage of blood cancer the person has. The blood cancer may be chronic or acute and again the life expectancy will vary. Getting a prognosis is always helpful.
Blood Cancer Life Expectancy Firstly, we must understand that blood cancer is not one disease. Instead, it is comprised of various types of cancers of the blood. It includes the most commonly found type known as leukemia. Amongst the others, the important types are lymphoma and multiple myeloma.
Blood Cancer Life Expectancy- Leukemia
Leukemia is takes place when the bone marrow begins to produce cells which are not proper white blood cells. This improper white blood cells do not function properly and do not mature and die. Instead, they begin to accumulate in the bone marrow and interfere with the normal functioning of the bone marrow. Thus, it suppresses the bone marrow and reduces the production of healthy red blood cells which can make the person anemic. These mutated cells can flow through the bloodstream and affect other parts of the body as well.
When determining the life expectancy of a particular patient, a lot of factors are taken into consideration. These factors include age, health, lifestyle, diet, severity or the stage of the disease, treatment provided and of course the response of the patient's body to that treatment. Generally, it has been observed that children have a higher life expectancy in cases of leukemia as compared to adults over the age of 60. Again, as leukemia has various types, the life expectancy varies. The major types of leukemia include Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), acute myelogeneous leukemia (ACL) and Chronic myelogeneous leukemia (CML). An acute form of leukemia would mean that the disease is spreading quickly throughout the body and the patient has a lower life expectancy. A chronic form of leukemia means that the disease is progressing in the body but at a very slow rate. In cases of a chronic form of leukemia, sometimes the patient is given a life expectancy of 20 years or more.
Blood Cancer Life Expectancy- Multiple Myeloma
Multiple myeloma is another type of blood cancer and is also common. The plasma cells in the body develop from the stem cells. These stem cells are located in the bone marrow. The stem cells develop in to B cells which are known as B lymphocytes. When antigens enter the body, these b Cells develop plasma cells which produce antibodies. When these plasma cells become cancerous, multiple Myeloma is said to develop. This disease is incurable as the plasma cells travel throughout the body by the lymphatic system, so, the disease is not in one particular area.
The life expectancy for multiple myeloma greatly depends on the patient's response to chemotherapy and other treatments that are given to him. Radiation therapy may be used. Again, the stage of the disease the patient is in and rate of growth of the disease is also very important. The patient's age and the amount of damage caused to the kidney at the time of diagnosis are of great importance too. According to staging, in stage1 the average life expectancy is of 62 month as the level of albumin is greater than 3.5 and that of beta- 2 microglobulin is less than 3.5. At stage 2, the life expectancy further decreases to an average of 44 months. Here the levels of beta - 2 microglobulin is between 3.5 and 5.5. At stage 3, the average survival rates fall to less than 44 months as the beta- 2 microglobulin becomes more than 5.5.
Blood Cancer Life Expectancy - Lymphoma
Lymphoma is another form of blood cancer which is commonly found. Lymphoma can be divided into two major types, Hodgkin's Lymphoma and Non- Hodgkin's lymphoma. For Non- Hodgkin's disease, the histologic subtypes determine the type of treatment that should be used; however, this is not the case for Hodgkin's disease. Hodgkin's disease is highly treatable as well as curable.
In a low grade lymphoma, if it is left untreated, the life expectancy can be calculated in years. However, this kind is considered to be incurable. Comparatively, in a high grade lymphoma, the life expectancy can be calculated in weeks if it is left untreated. Even so, it has the potential of being cured. Since 1990 up to 2000, 95% of increased life expectancy was seen due to improved treatments available. In cases of an aggressive lymphoma, if it is detected in stages 1 or 2, it is curable, usually by 6 cycles of chemotherapy.
The blood cancer life expectancy that has been mentioned above depends highly on the person's response to treatment, his overall health and the detection of blood cancer. Even if some of the cancers are considered incurable, there are cases where people have revived from it. If you have been diagnosed by a form of blood cancer, do not despair as the treatments have highly improved in the later years and more number of people are being saved each year.