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Blood Cancer Awareness month

Blood Cancer Awareness month – Things to Note

September 16th, 2022

September is known and recognized worldwide as a day dedicated to the awareness of Blood cancer, a deadly disease that has affected millions across the globe. In the US alone, over 1.5 million people are either undergoing remission or still living with the disease.

September is a month dedicated to spreading the word and increasing awareness about the disease. Advocates and other organizations spend time sensitizing, informing people, and talking about blood cancer; from their symptoms to what a person can do to treat and manage the disease. Physical and online campaigns, seminars, and conferences are but a few of the many methods that are employed.

Since September is blood cancer awareness month, here are a few things you should know about Blood cancers.

What is Blood cancer?

 Blood cancer is a term to describe a class of blood diseases where there is an abnormal growth of cells within the bone marrow especially the white blood cells. In other words, it is known as cancer that affects any component of the blood. Blood is composed of three major components namely; Red blood cells, White blood cells, and Platelets.

Red blood cells transport oxygen and nutrients to various parts of the body. White blood cells fight germs, and disease-causing agents and protect the body from internal or external damage. Platelets are responsible for clotting and preventing the loss of blood. The bone marrow, however, is the organ responsible for the production of these blood components.

Although Leukemia and Lymphoma are the most common blood cancers, others include Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), Myeloproliferative disorder (MPD), and Multiple myeloma. Despite their distinctive system of operation, most of the above blood cancers begin from the bone marrow.

Symptoms of blood cancer

All blood cancers share very similar symptoms despite their differences. Although some people might never experience symptoms until the disease has advanced, it is advised that you visit the health care center or a primary care clinic nearest to you once you notice these symptoms.

  • Shortness of breath.
  • Night sweats.
  • Itchy skin.
  • Nausea or appetite loss.
  • Consistent weakness or body fatigue.
  • Consistent infections.
  • Chest pain.
  • Rashes and bleeding.

It can be hard sometimes to know if you should be worried when you see such symptoms since they can mean the presence of other diseases and since the symptoms of blood cancers aren’t very specific. Nevertheless, if you notice any of the above symptoms, the best decision would be to see a doctor as soon as possible.

The chances of recovery from blood cancer are higher when there is early diagnosis and treatment. When you see a doctor, you will be subjected to several tests from bone marrow tests, and imaging tests, to blood tests and surgical lymph node removal. This will help the doctor find out the nature of your disease, as well as the exact location, type, and degree of cancer.

Questions you should ask your doctor

Understanding your role and that of your team of doctors when you or a loved one has been diagnosed with blood cancer is vital and will make it easier to handle the situation. Since the right questions produce the right answers, here are a few questions you should ask your doctor during a consultation session or diagnosis.

  • Can I get a biomarker or molecular testing for my blood cancer type?
  • What kind of blood cancer treatment would I be subjected to?
  • How can I manage my conditions?
  • Do I need to stay away from certain habits? What do I need to avoid?
  • How does the presence of the disease affect my work, family, and other activities?
  • What are my treatment choices? And how often do I need to take treatment?
  • When and how often do I need to come for checkups?
  • Should I consider being part of a clinical trial?
  • Will my blood cancer return after treatment? If yes, what are the probabilities of that happening?

The best way to handle blood cancer is to see a doctor or health professional as soon as possible. You can contact us here for answers to all your questions and for professional health care services.

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