Blood Cancer Therapy
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Blood cancer therapy is the range of treatments used for the treatment of blood cancer with the ultimate goal of totally eliminating it from the patient's body. Today a range of treatments are available for different types of blood cancer.
Blood cancer can be said to be a term used under which there are a variety of cancers. The major types of blood cancers are leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma. Each of these types has been further divided into various other types. When mutation occurs in a cell in the blood it begins to rapidly increase and can affect a lot of other vital organs. For instance, in leukemia, the buildup of cancerous white blood cells in the bone marrow can lead to the destruction of the stem cells which are responsible for the production of red blood cells. Leukemia has subtypes, namely, acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) and chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). ALL is the most common blood cancer cause for death in children below the age of 15.
Blood Cancer Therapy
Today, chemotherapy is widely used by doctors across the globe because of the powerful result that they can obtain. The first time that chemotherapy was used was in the 1950's. Since then chemotherapy has faced a lot of advancements. Chemotherapy uses drugs to treat cancer. These drugs are very strong in nature. Some patients respond so well to chemotherapy that it may be the only therapy they require, but often it is used in combination with another therapy. The chemotherapy is most often used to kill the cancer cells. It does so by destroying the rapidly growing cells in the body. This is the trait of cancer cells. At other times, chemotherapy can also be used to slow down the cancer or to prevent it from spreading. There are a variety of drugs available for chemotherapy and your doctor will select appropriate one(s) depending upon the type and stage of cancer that you are in.
chemotherapy however is unable to detect the difference between normal cells that grow rapidly and cancer cells. Hence, the most common side- effect is hair loss.
In radiation therapy, high beam waves are used. These waves are like X- Rays but are much stronger and the radiation that you are exposed to is much higher. Radiation therapy is used to destroy the cancer cells. High doses of radiations are sent to the cancer cells with the help of hi- tech equipments. Cancer cells have one disability, they cannot repair themselves. During radiation therapy, if normal cells get destroyed, they will repair themselves, however cancer cells are unable to do this. Radiation therapy is generally used to target a particular area, whereas chemotherapy will destroy cancer cells through your entire body. Thus chemotherapy is more useful for lymphomas as the cancer cells of these diseases will flow through your body in your lymphatic system.
Biological therapy is also known as immunotherapy. These are artificial substances which are made to replicate the substances present within our immune system. These may be used to amplify your immune system. In some cases to it may be used to suppress your immune system, for instance, before a bone marrow transplant. These may be used in various ways. For example it may be used with monoclonal antibodies. The antibodies that are produced by the plasma cells are made to fight intruders in the body. These monoclonal antibodies are deliberately made in the laboratory in order to fight the cancer cells of lymphoma. Rituximab is the monoclonal antibody which is widely and most commonly used. The rituximab will be administered to you through your vein (intravenously). For the treatment of multiple myeloma, thalidomide is used. Thalidomide is an immunodulating agent. However, higher doses of thalidomide alone can lead to sever side effects including nephropathy.
Blood cancer therapy may vary in their results from individual to individual. A new such therapy is targeted therapy which is still under trial. Even so, a large number of people tend to respond well to the therapies mentioned above and also get cured. Chances of blood cancer recurrence increase with age and undergoing suitable blood cancer therapy is the only way out. When you have been suggested a particular therapy, you must feel free to ask your doctor as many questions as you like. With the help of the knowledge above, you will be able to reduce your fears and be more confident about your treatment. Good Luck!