Blood cancer: symptoms, how I live, photos
Blood cancer is the General name of malignant tumors of the hematopoietic system. This term is widely used among patients, doctors call this group of patients with hematological malignancies. The prognosis for blood cancer depends on the type of malignant transformation, early diagnosis and promptly begin treatment. That is why you should know the symptoms, which can be suspected of such a serious illness.
Blood cancer: what is it?
Blood cancer is a specific group of diseases, not having rendered hearth — actually a dense neoplasm. Cancerous degeneration may begin in the bone marrow that synthesizes new red blood cells and in the bloodstream with characteristic degeneration of specific types of leukocytes. The haematological malignancies are classified into the following diseases:
- Acute leukemia is a very aggressive malignant tumor of the bone marrow. Changed bone marrow cells begin to produce blood cells, are not able to perform its functions.
- Chronic leukemia is an uncontrolled division of mutated Mature blood cells. Disease milder than acute leukemia.
- Gematosarkoma is the most malignant form of blood cancer. Includes the often diagnosed lymphosarcoma, characterized by lesions of the lymphatic system.
What is the leukemia?
Earlier leukemia called all forms of cancer of the hematopoietic system. However, the characteristic of the leukemia (leukemia) the symptom is increased leukocyte dozens of times — is seen only in acute leukemia. Therefore, the term «leukemia» is advisable only when the leukemia that occur in the acute form.
What is blood cancer?
Some forms of hepatoblasts develop in childhood, others — more often diagnosed in adults, especially in the elderly. In any case, a blood cancer caused by a mutation of the chromosomal set of cells in the bone marrow or the blood. As a result, blood cells do not perform their functions: red blood cells do not deliver enough oxygen to tissues, white blood cells do not resist infection, platelets to stop the blood clotting under control. Causes of cancerous degeneration of blood a few:
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- ionizing radiation in the places of residence, which recorded elevated levels of radiation, blood cancer is found in the order more often than in other areas;
- carcinogens are found in foods (some types of preservatives and chemical additives, indicated in part by the letter E), of drugs (carcinogenic properties of Chloramphenicol, Phenylbutazone, etc.), chemical agents (pesticides in foods, benzene and petroleum products);
- heredity from generation to generation the tendency to mutate blood cells, which leads to an increased risk of leukemia;
- viruses — the theory of viral origin of blood cancer is not proven, but it is possible that some viruses can integrate into the human DNA and change the properties of red blood cells.
Symptoms of blood cancer
Clinical picture of the outbreak of blood cancer has no specific symptoms. Signs of blood cancer associated with many diseases, so diagnosis of the disease symptoms extremely difficult. In hematological malignancies can specify:
- anemia that is not treatable with iron-containing drugs;
- low or high to high numbers the number of white blood cells;
- petechiae red or purple and all of a sudden bruising, frequent bleeding from the nose or gums;
- General weakness, increased fatigue on the background of periodic fevers (hyperthermia periods can last up to several months) outside of the disease a cold, severe lethargy and apathy is one of the first signs of blood cancer in children;
- pain in the long tubular bones of the limbs and the joints;
- headache, the attacks of pain often occur at night and are accompanied by profuse sweating;
- frequent dizziness, and transient vision problems;
- painless enlargement of local lymph nodes – axillary, supraclavicular, cervical, inguinal or lymph nodes distributed throughout the body (typical for Hodgkin’s lymphoma and non-Hodgkin’s forms);
- frequent respiratory infections up to bronchitis and pneumonia, recurrent stomatitis, and other inflammatory diseases;
- weight loss without changing diet, loss of appetite and taste perversion (formerly favorite foods become disgusting);
- shortness of breath occurs as a reflex of filling in a lack of oxygen in the tissues;
- enlargement of the spleen and liver, accompanied by pain in the abdomen and right/left upper quadrant, jaundiced skin, flatulence (with the progression of cancer of the blood);
- neurological symptoms — tingling in the body, cramps, nausea and vomiting occur frequently in acute leukemia.
The development of leukemia can be spontaneous or intermittent with periods of temporary improvement. To identify cancer of the blood only by changes in the composition of blood leukocyte formula and biochemistry. Diagnosis is also confirmed by the puncture of the bone marrow.
Is it possible to cure blood cancer?
The burning question: is curable or not is a blood cancer? A simple answer to this question can no one, even the most experienced Oncohematology. All depends on the type and stage of the disease and the individual characteristics of the organism.
The lifespan in acute leukemia
The most favorable prognosis doctors give for the treatment of cancer of the blood in children: complete cure in such cases, most possible. Also more hope for a longer life in patients with chronic leukemia. The acute form usually occurs rapidly and leads to rapid extinction of vitality. Without treatment, acute leukemia causes the development of lymphoblastoma (cancer of the lymphatic system), and the life of the patient is reduced to a few months. Timely begun treatment, life expectancy is lengthened to 2 – 5 years.
How many live with a chronic leukemia?
Slow-moving chronic leukemia is better than other types of blood cancer is treatable. The effectiveness of the treatment control blood: persistent normalization of its indicators indicates full recovery. Threat to life is present «blast crises», coming sooner or later without proper treatment.
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In the treatment of blood cancer recently had a real breakthrough — a bone marrow transplant and immunotherapy give hope for recovery for many hopeless patients and enhance the effectiveness of chemotherapy, transfusions of donated blood and blood components (leukocyte mass and plasma). However, this procedure is not available to all: the expensive manipulation is often carried out repeatedly. New methods in no way replaces the hard to bear chemotherapy, although can significantly reduce the duration of use of cytostatics.