April 22, 2024

How can we work together to combat blood cancer?

2 min read

Malignancies of the blood, bone marrow, or lymph nodes that interfere with normal blood cell formation or function are often referred to as blood cancers. Among Indians, however, the greatest obstacle is a lack of knowledge and understanding regarding various kinds of blood cancer. Most individuals don’t realise that blood cancer may be treated and that a stem cell transplant is frequently the best option for those who are afflicted with it.

The following are the three most prevalent kinds of blood cancer that afflict the Indian population, ranked in order of occurrence, from most common to least common.

Blood malignancies that originate in the lymphatic system are known as lymphomas. Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma are the two most common forms of lymphoma (generally starts in lymph node and lymphatic tissue.)
Leukemia is a kind of blood cancer that occurs when healthy blood cells get genetic mutations and rapidly multiply unchecked. Myeloblasts and lymphocytes are two of the most common kinds of impacted cells, whereas immature lymphocytes and mature lymphocytes are the other two (chronic, acute).
Multiple In myeloma, plasma cells begin to proliferate uncontrolled in the bone marrow. The immune system is weakened and white and red blood cell production and function are impaired as the cells multiply, resulting in bone disease, organ damage, and anaemia, amongst other complications.

Patients with blood or plasma cell malignancies, such as lymphoma, leukaemia, myeloma, and Hodgkin disease, as well as other blood illnesses such aplastic anaemia and thalassemia, are the most common recipients of stem cell transplantation. A successful blood stem-cell transplant boosts a patient’s chance of life by 90%. A stem-cell transplant may be the last therapy choice for a blood cancer patient who has exhausted all other treatment options.

Misinformation and/or a lack of knowledge are the major obstacles prospective blood stem cell donors face today, but the many misconceptions surrounding stem cell donation offer a larger danger. These include the widely held belief that the surgery has certain health risks, that you are putting your life in jeopardy during the treatment, and so on. Stem cell extraction is hampered by a lack of current knowledge regarding an antiquated method of doing the surgery.

A precise HLA type is necessary for a successful stem cell transplant. If a donor is of the same ethnicity as the recipient, a perfect match may be found. As a result, patients of Indian heritage have difficulties in obtaining a suitable donor. Why? Because many are aware of their promise as a lifesaving treatment for persons with blood cancer and other associated conditions.

Indian stem cell donors need to be better represented in a stem cell registry since blood stem cell transplants may be the sole choice for certain patients. As a result, there is a pressing need to raise awareness of the illnesses and encourage people to register as possible life savers.

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