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Is Blood Cancer Curable?

By Dr. Amrita Chakrabarti in Cancer Care / Oncology

Feb 24 , 2022 | 5 min read

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Certain disorders, once diagnosed, take a toll on an individual’s overall health. Blood cancer is a type of cancer that affects the blood cells, bone marrow, and lymphoid organs. Red blood cells (RBCs), white blood cells (WBCs), and platelets are the key components present in the blood plasma. Blood cancer occurs when the blood cells grow abnormally and has a negative impact on the normal functioning of blood cells.


Types of Blood Cancer

Blood cancer is classified as follows:

Myeloma

Myeloma (multiple myeloma) develops from the plasma cells of the marrow. These cells are primarily white blood cells. Usually, affects the older age group above 50 years of age, with slight male preponderance. There is no specific causative association. Genetic mutations, environmental factors, exposure to certain chemicals and lifestyle may play a role.


Lymphoma

This type of cancer affects the lymphoid system, which involves lymph nodes, the thymus gland, and the spleen. There are two types of lymphoma, namely, Hodgkin’s lymphoma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.


Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

It mainly impacts the B-cell or T-cell. This type of lymphoma occurs more commonly than Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Can vary clinically and diagnostically into slow-growing ones to very aggressive types.


Hodgkin’s lymphoma

This type of lymphoma affects the B cells. Broadly divided into classical Hodgkins and nodular lymphocyte predominant types. Occur in the adolescence or elderly age group.


Leukaemia

In leukaemia, the body produces white blood cells that do not have the capacity to fight infections. Leukaemia is classified into different types based on whether they are fast growing or slow growing ( Acute or chronic) and the type of blood cell being affected ( myeloid or lymphoid). Hence it can mainly be classified as Acute Lymphocytic Leukaemia (ALL), Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML), Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia (CLL), and Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia (CML).


Diagnosis of Blood Cancer

Blood cancer is diagnosed with the help of a wide range of diagnostic methods along clinical evaluation, such as blood tests, bone marrow tests, cytogenetic/karyotyping and molecular analysis, flow cytometry.


Is Blood Cancer Curable?

Once a patient is diagnosed with blood cancer, the first concern that comes to one’s mind – “Is blood cancer curable?”

Blood cancer is one type of cancer that has a considerably high curability rate especially due to the advancement in the medical field, availability of newer, improved Chemotherapy regimens, targeted therapy, and improved infection control measures.

Timely diagnosis, especially early diagnosis, increases the chances of cure from blood cancer. Then the patient is recommended to receive the required treatment, followed by proper care after treatment completion.


Some of the other factors that impact the cure of blood cancer include-

  1. Age of the patient
  2. Physical condition
  3. Presence of other comorbidities
  4. Stage of the disease
  5. Subtype of cancer
  6. Molecular factors
  7. Whether low grade/high grade
  8. Acute or chronic
  9. The body parts or organs that are affected
  10. Whether the disease is new onset or has come back after a previous cure

You must understand that the cure or recovery from cancer is unpredictable. There are cases when the patient has recovered even in the later stages of blood cancer. On the other hand, there are recorded cases where the patient couldn’t recover even in the initial stages of blood cancer.

So, it’s important to have realistic expectations and focus on following a healthy lifestyle with the advised treatment and measures. Early diagnosis and treatment plays an important role in attaining cure.


Blood Cancer Treatment

Now that you have the answer to your question – “is blood cancer curable?”, let’s discuss about the blood cancer treatment options. Some of the blood cancer treatments include the following:

  1. Chemotherapy

    This is the most important aspect of blood cancer treatment and involves using certain chemicals to kill the cancer-causing cells in the patient’s body. The prescribed drugs are given in a particular timeframe for the best possible improvement in the patient’s health. In some patients, a stem cell transplant is provided along with high dose chemotherapy.

  2. Radiation therapy

    Radiation therapy helps to destroy cancer cells with the help of specific high-energy beams to kill cancer cells in precise areas of the body. This treatment is much beneficial for patients with lymphoma

  3. Bone marrow transplant

    In this procedure, healthy stem cells are utilized to replace the cells affected by cancer. This helps the patients recover in the best possible manner. Can be autologous (where stem cells are taken from the patient’s own body) or allogenic (when a healthy donor gives stem cells to the patient).

  4. Targeted Therapy

    Usually in the form of oral medications or pills. They are given alongside Chemotherapy/Radiotherapy and affect specific cancer cells and help in destroying them.

  5. Stem Cell Transplant

    The cancer patient gets new healthy stem cells, and their old stem cells, which have been destroyed, are replaced.

  6. Immunotherapy

    Immunotherapy uses the body's immune system to fight blood cancer by slowing down the growth of cancer cells.

  7. Cancer Surgery

    Though surgery is not often used in treating blood cancer, patients with lymphoma are subjected to cancer surgery which is aimed at removing their spleen.


Conclusion

Advancement in the medical field has increased the chance of curing blood cancer. Early diagnosis and efficient blood cancer treatment can cure blood cancer. Max Healthcare group runs various hospitals where blood cancer treatment is highly effective and efficient.

So, if you are looking for expert guidance and treatment related to blood cancer then book an appointment with a top blood cancer specialist at Max Hospital today.


Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How long can you live with blood cancer?

    If blood cancer is not treated, survival is generally measured in days to weeks.

  2. What are the chances to survive blood cancer?

    66% of people diagnosed with leukaemia live five years or longer. This rate is 75% for non-Hodgkin lymphoma and 89% for Hodgkin lymphoma.

  3. What is the first stage of blood cancer?

    The first stage of blood cancer is said to have started when the lymph nodes get enlarged.

  4. Is blood cancer worse than other cancers?

    Blood cancer is bad but curable if diagnosed early. There are cancers which are worse than Blood cancer.

  5. Which type of cancer is curable?

    The cure depends on the cancer stage and the patient's treatment type. With the advancement in medical science, many cancers are curable.

  6. Is leukemia curable if caught early?

    If caught early, leukemia can be cured by undergoing several cancer treatments.

  7. Can cancer go away by itself?

    Rarely cancer will go away on its own without any treatment.


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