Blood cancer is a generic term for malignant diseases of the bone marrow, hematopoietic and lymphatic systems. This group includes leukemia (leukemia) - malignant formations of hematopoietic cells, lymphoma - a tumor in the lymphatic system, and myeloma - malignant neoplasms in the blood plasma. Each of these varieties has its own symptoms and peculiarities of leakage.
But a common process is the emergence of a disease in which the tumor tissue grows from one pathogenic bone marrow cell (brain cancer), gradually replacing the normal components of the bleeding. This is due to the uncontrolled division of cancer tissue, which inhibits the growth and development of working cells.
The complexity of the disease is that blood can not be touched and eliminated, since tumor cells, circulating with the flow of blood, dissipate throughout the body. As a result, patients develop a shortage of hematopoietic cells, which leads to hemorrhages, increased bleeding, suppression of immunity with the addition of infections and pathologies.
Blood cancer affects both adults and children, including newborns. The disease is in chronic or severe form. In the latter case, cancer leads to death in a few months or weeks from the onset of the disease.
The exact causes of the formation of blood cancer by scientists are still not established. But there are a number of factors that increase the risk of the disease. These include:
- Cancer in the history. People who have been previously ill with other forms of cancer, and have undergone chemotherapy, others are more prone to cancer of the blood;
- The presence of congenital anomalies and genetic diseases, in particular Down syndrome;
- Permanent influence of radiation above the permissible norm;
- The presence of some blood diseases, for example, myelodysplastic syndrome;
- Regular influence of chemical toxic substances;
- Blood cancer in a family member. It was established that the incidence of blood cancer is higher in people whose close relatives also suffered from this pathology. Such patients need regular examination.
But it should be remembered that blood cancer is often found in people who do not have any risk factors. It has been noticed that the disease can affect a person who has repeatedly been subjected to ionizing radiation, or after the application of certain chemicals and drugs, as well as after the transmitted viral infection.
Symptoms of blood cancer
The first symptoms of the disease are not specific and, as a rule, do not force a person to consult a doctor. Headaches, dizziness, drowsiness, slight increase in temperature, not associated with a cold, weakness - the first signs that should be alert. Often there are pain in the bones, aversion to many odors and food, nausea and vomiting, the emergence of seasickness.
External signs of the disease manifest in the form of dryness and pale skin, often there is an icteric coloration. There is also a significant decrease in weight, easy bruising, difficulty stopping frequent bleeding, increased lymph nodes, increased night sweats, increased urges to urination.
The late stage of blood cancer reveals itself to be more serious. There are severe pains in the abdominal cavity and in the heart, there is tightness and pressure in the chest, there is shortness of breath, wheezing, seizures. Tachycardia appears - an increase in the frequency of cardiac contractions. The body temperature rises above 38 degrees. In addition, the level of consciousness changes, a person stops responding to external stimuli or vice versa, he has increased anxiety, frequent fainting and uncontrolled bleeding.
All of the above conditions require immediate medical attention.
Blood cancer is a disease that is difficult to diagnose. Therefore, for a precise diagnosis, it is necessary to undergo a thorough examination, which includes:
Consultation of oncologist and hematologist;
- General and biochemical blood analysis;
- Bone marrow examination by sternal puncture or trepanobiopsia;
- Immunoassay - immunophenotyping, which allows you to identify a subspecies of blood cancer and to find the most effective treatment program.
- A cytogenetic study that can detect specific chromosomal lesions that determine the subspecies of cancer and its degree of aggressiveness;
- Molecular genetic diagnostics, which detects genetic deviations at the molecular stage.
- Additional examination of the cerebrospinal fluid for the presence of cancer cells.
The main task of the diagnosis of the disease is to determine the nature of the tumor, the stage of development, the degree of its aggressiveness and the determination of the extent of damage to the bone marrow. On the basis of the received data, an individual treatment is given that takes into account the type of blood cancer, each of which requires complex measures in combination with a certain combination of drugs.
Stages of blood cancer
The course of the disease is conditionally divided into four stages, each of which affects the degree of development of cancer. In determining the stage, the size of tumor tissues, their distribution in adjacent organs, as well as metastasis in other areas of the body are estimated.
The first stage of cancer Is characterized by the initial process of the disease, which occurs as a result of serious violations of the immune system. This provokes an uncontrolled division of the atypical cell, which in turn leads to the formation of a cancerous cell that continues to actively divide. Timely recognition of pathology at this stage allows us to talk about the possibility of complete treatment for blood cancer.
The second stage Is a germination, that is, the rapid reproduction of atypical cells that generate the formation of tumor tissues and form clusters of cancer cells. Detection of the disease at this stage also increases the patient's chances of healing.
On The third stage There is an active metastasis in blood cancer when tumor cells move around the body with leakage of lymph and blood. The disease at this stage has pronounced symptoms, but treatment is possible in 30 percent of cases.
The last Fourth stage Cancer is the most complicated stage of the disease, since the occurrence of cancerous tissues in other organs of man. As a rule, in this case complete treatment is impossible.
When treating a disease, chemotherapy courses are mandatory. Its essence lies in the intravenous administration of large doses of highly toxic medicinal products destroying foreign cancer cells. The reverse side of the positive effects of chemotherapy is the damage to healthy cells, including the cells of the hair follicles, the gastrointestinal tract, the reproductive system, and bone marrow cells. In this regard, inevitable side effects such as hair loss, vomiting, chest disorders, anemia, and others.
Often, a re-course of chemotherapy with the use of drugs of more severe effect is required. This need arises because of the ability of cancer tissues to become insensitive to the used drugs. Without the use of this procedure, the disease leads to a fatal case in a few months.
In severe cases, the disease is transmitted using a bone marrow transplant method, in which, using a dropper, the patient enters the diseased concentrate of healthy bone marrow cells taken from the donor. Before this procedure it is necessary to eliminate all pathogenic bone marrow cells by means of chemotherapy. This technique is extremely dangerous and is intended for strict indications.
The use of different homeopathic remedies and recipes of folk medicine can worsen the process. Also with great caution are conducting immunotherapy. Illiterate immune stimulation promotes the transition of the precancerous stage to cancer, and also stimulates the development and metastasis of tumors.
Blood cancer in children
In children, the disease of blood cancer occurs quite often. Preferably, children of preschool age, especially boys, are prone to it. Causes and symptoms of the disease do not differ from the clinical picture of adult adult blood cancer. The treatment of children is carried out according to the same scheme as adult therapy. The only difference is an additional blood transfusion, which is mandatory for children. This is due to the peculiarities of the work of the bone marrow, which stops the production of cells as soon as the disease develops by cancer. In the absence of transfusion, the child is at risk of dying from the smallest infection. A kidney transfusion patient needs blood transfusions every week, especially in severe cases, every day.
Despite such complexities, the effect of chemotherapy in children is often much higher than in adults, which is due to the rapid recovery of the child's body.
Today, blood cancer in children is not considered a death sentence. According to statistics, more than 70 percent of children survive and subsequently lead a normal way of life. It should be noted that early diagnosis of pathology is quite possible a complete cure.