Treatment for blood cancer is determined by the type and stage of cancer, the patient's age, the organs affected by the malignancy, and the patient's tolerance, among other considerations.
The following are the most essential treatments for blood cancer:
1 . Blood Cancer Chemotherapy Treatment
Chemotherapy for blood cancer is a type of chemical medication therapy that tries to kill the body's rapidly multiplying cells. It is one of the most effective ways to treat blood cancer.
Chemotherapy Treatment Procedure:
The medications are injected into the veins or a bigger muscle in this manner. They are taken orally and also delivered under the skin, depending on the stage of the treatment. To reach cancer cells, these medications pass through the bloodstream. They then prevent the cancer cells from spreading throughout the body. Because these medications target cancer cells that divide quickly, this treatment becomes one of the most successful. Chemotherapy is administered in phases. The patient is given a time of rest under medication after each stage of treatment. This is so that the patient can cope with the treatment's side effects.
Side Effects of Chemotherapy
This medication directly affects the heart, liver, brain, kidneys, testicles, and ovaries in those with blood cancer. The following are examples of common side effects:
- Easy bruising and bleeding
- Vomiting and nausea
- Hair loss is a common problem.
- Appetite shifts
Before starting therapy, the oncologist should make sure the patient's tolerance levels are in good shape. During the treatment, medical attention should be maintained. In the event of any side effects, the appropriate medication must be administered. If there are any serious side effects, treatment must be lowered or stopped. The adverse effects are usually short-lived, and after treatment, specific medicine is provided.
2 . Blood Cancer Treatment With Radiation Therapy
High-energy radiation is used in radiation therapy or radiotherapy for blood cancer to kill cancer cells. The therapy works by disrupting the cells' DNA, which prevents them from growing and reproducing.
Radiotherapy for blood cancer comes in a variety of forms.
There are two types of radiation therapies:
- Internal radiation therapy is used to treat cancers of the head and neck, the breast, the cervix, the prostate, and the eye.
- External Beam Radiation: The most prevalent type of radiation therapy is external beam radiation. For the treatment of blood malignancies, it is the favoured method.
Radiation Therapy Procedure:
In external beam radiation, a focused beam of radiation is delivered externally by a machine named linac or linear accelerato. To administer the radiation, the linac rotates around the body at various angles. These accelerators help to focus radiation, reducing the amount of radiation that reaches non-cancerous tissues. These can be used to avoid or decrease skin responses. The patient is expected to remain in a single position and not move during the treatment. During the procedure, there will be no discomfort. Shields are used for shielding sensitive regions of the body from the effects of radiation.
Side Effects of Radiation Therapy in Blood Cancer Treatment:
The intensity of the radiation, the patient's tolerance, and the area to which the radiation is delivered all influence the adverse effects.
Among the most prevalent outcomes are:
- skin problems
- sore throat
- sore throat
A radiation oncologist determines the radiation dose. It is determined by the patient's age and medical history. The level of tolerance of the patient is also a significant element in determining the therapy dosage.
Before receiving radiation, the patients must go through a simulation in which the technician decides the most effective manner to direct radiation as well as the angles at which it must be directed.
To reduce side effects, patients are administered radiation in portions over several weeks.
Patients must consume a nutritious diet following therapy to help them cope with the adverse effects and grow healthy tissues. Maintaining healthy body weight, having enough energy, and exercising regularly are all beneficial to the patient's health.
3 . Blood Cancer Treatment With Stem Cell Transplantation
The cells in the bone marrow are called stem cells, and they develop into several types of blood cells. When blood cells become seriously ill and the body's function deteriorates, the body requires more than only the removal of malignant cells.
Stem Cell Transplantation Procedure for Blood Cancer:
Before a stem cell transplant, the patient is given a conditioning regime. This treatment entails the removal of cancer cells from the body, for which the patient is subjected to large doses of chemotherapy and, in rare situations, radiotherapy, all while being closely monitored. This allows the body to be ready for stem cell transplantation.
The stem cells are injected into the veins of the patient.
These cells go through the bloodstream to the bone marrow, where they produce new blood cells. Engraftment is the term for this operation.
The stem cell transplant operation takes around an hour in most cases.
Side Effects of Stem Cell Transplantation Treatment:
- Pain in the mouth and throat,
- Interstitial pneumonitis,
- vomiting are all symptoms of interstitial pneumonitis.
The patient's blood count is checked on a regular basis after the transplant. Transfusions of blood cells and platelets may be required in specific instances. In the event that stem cells are taken from donors, special and supplementary medications are given to avoid infections and other problems.
4 . Blood Cancer Treatment using Blood Targeted Therapy
These treatments specifically target the chemicals that aid cancer's growth and spread throughout the body. The primary premise is to target genes, proteins, and blood vessels that sustain them. This treatment can be used by itself or in conjunction with chemotherapy. The following are the main choices, which vary depending on the type of blood cancer and the features of the cancer cells.
Monoclonal antibodies are modified forms of immune system proteins created by humans. These are made to adhere to the cancer cells' surfaces. The primary goal of these antibodies is to respond to cancer cells and aid the immune system in eliminating them. For chronic blood malignancy, monoclonal antibodies are used in conjunction with chemotherapy. Chest pain, racing heart, swelling, cough, difficulty breathing, and severe dizziness are some of the significant side effects of this therapy.
Inhibitors of tyrosine kinase:
Interferon: Interferons are chemicals that our immune system produces naturally in our bodies. Drugs that imitate this response are used in therapy, which was historically one of the most effective treatments. These medications stop blood cancer cells from multiplying and growing. It's possible that the general treatment will last a few years. Patients must deal with adverse effects throughout treatment, but they will be able to cope well afterwards.
Common side effects of Blood Targeted Therapy:
The following are the common side effects of blood targeted therapies:
- Skin problems
- Problems with blood clotting and wound healing
- Increasing blood pressure
- Gastrointestinal perforation
Treatment of Recurrent Blood Cancer
Recurrence of blood cancer typically refers to the return of previously existent cancer cells following a patient's therapy. The time it takes for such a recurrence to occur is undetermined. If someone has been exposed to cancer cells once, it is possible that it will happen again in the next days, weeks, months, or even years.
In two cases, leukaemia recurs:
- Patients who fail to obtain an initial complete disappearance or remission of their malignancy after two or more cycles of remission induction chemotherapy are known as induction failures.
- Relapsed leukaemia occurs when a patient achieves complete remission following initial treatment but then has a malignant recurrence. Leukaemia relapses can happen months or years after the initial remission.
Nevertheless, the majority of relapses happen within the first two years of treatment.
Diagnosing recurring cancer:
Any patient who has had cancer therapy is given a formal follow-up plan. This plan outlines a timetable for doctor visits, thorough physical examinations, and maybe further tests. These visits and testing are necessary to ensure your health and to keep an eye out for a recurrence.
Recurrence Treatment Options:
A patient has two options if cancer recurrence or remission does not occur during treatment. Because continuing with the current treatment may only have a minor favourable effect.
A palliative approach can be used, in which medications are given in low doses to keep the disease at bay for as long as feasible. In this scenario, the emphasis is on quality of life and supportive care measures.
Another option is to undergo more intense treatment in the hopes of achieving complete remission.
For this, there are two intensive strategies:
- For younger patients, bone marrow or blood stem cell transplant provides a chance to manage or cure leukaemia.
- To take part in clinical studies that evaluate novel medicines.
A palliative approach can be used, in which medications are given in low doses to keep the disease at bay for as long as feasible.
Bone Marrow or Stem Cell transplantation
Because bone marrow includes a significant number of leukaemia cells, autologous stem transplantation or high-dose chemotherapy are rare options for patients who have failed remission induction therapy; nevertheless, allogeneic stem cell transplantation may be a possibility.
In most situations, patients in complete remission require autologous stem transplantation or high-dose chemotherapy. This is only possible if the survivor chooses to store their stem cells during the initial remission. After a relapse, stem cell harvesting is less successful since only about half of the patients who get reinduction chemotherapy achieve a second remission.
Patients who do not have any stem cells preserved in their bodies are frequently treated with allogeneic stem cell transplants or further chemotherapy.
Allogeneic stem cell transplantation is the only hope for long-term disease-free survival in certain situations. If a compatible family member donor or autologous stem cells are not available, an unrelated donor or umbilical cord source of stem cells should be considered.
Clinical trials are research investigations in which people participate in the evaluation of therapy effectiveness. Doctors discover innovative approaches to improve therapies and the quality of life for those living with the condition as a result of these.
Clinical trials are the final phase in a protracted process of therapeutic innovation that begins with laboratory research. However, there are a few considerations that should be considered before embarking on any of these tests, such as:
- The method's development
- The dangers that are associated
Clinical trial participation is critical in the development of current cancer treatments. Clinical trials were used to develop all of the treatments accessible today. Participating in them may improve one's chances of remission as well as the development of a new treatment.
Coping with Cancer Recurrence
A recurrence generates the same misery and distress as the beginning stages of cancer. Many patients with recurrence experience feelings of self-doubt and exhaustion. When the struggle one has put up proves to be insufficient, it is beneficial to examine negative emotions.
The patient, on the other hand, should be able to transform them into positivity. Their greatest strength should be the fact that they have dealt with a similar circumstance before and are not lost. At this point, the patient needs counselling. The patient needs a lot of help. In addition to the doctor's assurance that the patient can manage the disease, the patient's family plays an important role.
Survivorship or follow-up cancer care clinics are available at a few treatment centres. These clinics offer a comprehensive and unique approach to cancer survivorship monitoring and support. They ensure that the patient's follow-up care plan is adhered to on a frequent basis. They maintain track of a patient's doctor visits as well as their overall health.