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Blood Cancer Awareness Month- What is it and how to cope with it?

17 September, 2021 Anuja Sahi

September is Blood Cancer Awareness Month, a dedicated time for advocates and supporters of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) to raise awareness about our efforts to battle blood cancers such as leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma, and Hodgkin’s disease both locally and nationally.

Each year, more people are diagnosed with blood cancer and die as a result of it all over the world. We know that when persons with blood cancer are diagnosed early and treated with the finest treatments, they have the best chance of surviving and living well. September of every year is celebrated as “Blood Cancer Awareness Month” in order to educate people and spread awareness about the types, risks, and prevention measures related to Blood Cancer.

What is Blood Cancer?

A malfunction in cellular growth and behavior causes cancer. New white blood cells are produced on a regular basis in a healthy body to replace old, dying ones. Blood cancers are caused by the overproduction of white blood cells in the bone marrow.

There are three types of blood cancers:

  • Leukemia: The rapid creation of abnormal blood cells in the bone marrow causes this type of cancer. The ability of the bone marrow to produce red blood cells and platelets is harmed by these aberrant blood cells.
  • Lymphoma: The lymphatic system, which is responsible for removing excess fluids from the body and creating immune cells, is affected by this form of blood cancer. Lymphocytes are an infection-fighting type of white blood cell. Lymphoma cells are abnormal lymphocytes that proliferate uncontrollably in your lymph nodes and other tissues.
  • Myeloma: Multiple myeloma is cancer that develops in the plasma cells of white blood cells. Antibodies that recognize and attack germs are produced by healthy plasma cells, which aid in the battle against infections.

Cancerous plasma cells accumulate in the bone marrow and drive out healthy blood cells in multiple myeloma. Instead of producing beneficial antibodies, cancer cells create aberrant proteins that can cause problems.

Significance of Blood Cancer Awareness Month

  • Blood Cancer Awareness Month strives to aware the masses of the increasing case of blood cancer and ways to prevent it.
  • As per the reports, every 3 minutes, someone in the USA gets is diagnosed with blood cancer.
  • Despite several efforts and prevention measures taken, many people die every year because of such type of cancer.

Signs and symptoms of Blood Cancer

There are several signs and symptoms that cause blood cancer, however, some of the common signs and symptoms are:

  • Undefined weight loss, and fatigue
  • Weakness in the body
  • Shortness of breath
  • Weight loss
  • Sweating during night
  • Bone pain, abdominal pain (that may be severe or moderate)
  • Confusion, visual difficulties
  • Difficulty while urinating

Which group is most affected by blood cancer?

Blood cancer risk factors are unknown, although it is thought that blood cancers are caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Some types of blood cancers have been associated with smoking, radiation exposure, and exposure to chemicals like benzene. Infections with the Epstein- Barr virus, HIV, and the human T-cell leukemia virus are also risk factors of lymphomas and leukemia.

Other risk factors associated with blood cancer are:

  • Several age groups like children below the age of 14 years and adults above the age of 40 years are likely to be affected by blood cancer
  • Excessive alcohol and tobacco are also the leading cause of blood cancer
  • Exposure to harmful radiation at regular intervals can also lead to blood cancer
  • A family and genetic history is also among the leading cause of blood cancer

Possible treatment of blood cancer

The type of cancer, your age, how quickly the cancer is spreading, where cancer has spread, and other factors all influence treatment for blood and bone marrow cancers. Treatments for leukemia, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma include the following:

  • Chemotherapy: Anticancer medications are injected into the veins or taken as pills, to kill and stop the formation of cancer cells. In cases of blood cancer, chemotherapy sometimes involves giving several drugs together.
  • Surgery (Cancer): Surgery in case of cancer, involves removing the affected lymph nodes.
  • Radiotherapy: Radiotherapy is used to destroy cancer cells, and to relieve pain.

Footnote:

While we believe, and pray that no one ever faces health-related problems like that of cancer, but however in case if anyone meets with such a fatal incidence they are requested to have faith, as well as their attendant, are required to be calm and supportive for them. To ensure full awareness in such cases, Blood Cancer Awareness Month is observed every year in the month of September.