Oncologists at one of the private research companies have managed to put a deadly disease - sickle cell anemia - at the service of the body in its fight against cancer.
Bad vs Worst
Sickle cell anemia is a genetic, life-threatening disease. The red blood cells in this disease have an altered shape (as reflected in the name), therefore, firstly, they carry oxygen much worse and, secondly, they lose elasticity and get stuck in small vessels, which causes malnutrition of tissues. Scientists were able to direct the altered red blood cells directly to the tumor cells, which caused their death.
This opens up completely new horizons in the treatment of malignant tumors, such as, for example, prostate and breast cancer, which very often are resistant to chemotherapy and radiation therapy and are very aggressive.
Researchers started from the following idea: a malignant tumor, being an actively growing structure, is initially in a state of hypoxia (i.e., lack of oxygen), therefore it is especially sensitive to any blood flow disorders. Altered erythrocytes labeled with a fluorochrome (i.e., a luminous label) were injected into mice with breast cancer and observed in a special chamber that allows you to track what is happening in the body. Five minutes later, sickle-shaped red blood cells began to accumulate in the blood vessels of the tumor, and after thirty - they clogged.
Why is this happening?
Scientists suggest that such a focus of altered red blood cells on tumor tissues is explained by the fact that the latter produce a huge number of adhesion molecules in response to oxygen deficiency, in fact this is a biological glue in which sickle-shaped red blood cells get stuck. By attaching itself to a tumor cell, the red blood cell will inevitably collapse and release an iron-containing complex that is toxic to tumors.
To enhance this destructive effect, the researchers attached zinc compounds to sickle red blood cells. This reduced the tumor growth rate by four times compared to mice injected with normal blood cells. In this case, sickle cell therapy did not have a significant toxic effect on the body as a whole.
Animal research in this direction will certainly continue before scientists move on to testing this promising technique with the participation of people.
The main symptoms of leukemia
Statistics show that the average age of leukemia in the adult group is 50–70 years. Symptoms may vary for specific types of disease. But there are a number of similar symptoms, with types of leukemia common in the adult age group.
The following manifestations may be caused by other conditions, but even with a slight suspicion, you must make an appointment with the doctor.
It can be night sweats, nosebleeds, chills.
In the successful treatment of leukemia, an early diagnosis is a key factor. In this case, the probability of a successful outcome increases. Therefore, listen to the signals of your body. It is better to play it safe and take tests again to make sure that everything is in order with you. And less serious health problems are resolved without much difficulty. * Published by econet.ru.
* Econet.ru articles are intended for educational and educational purposes only and are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult your doctor about any questions you may have about your health condition.
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What is it: types and forms
Leukemia is a specific type of cancer process. Its main manifestation is the appearance of mutated cells in the blood, with their uncontrolled division and the gradual displacement of healthy elements.
The oncological process makes its debut with a violation in the integrity of DNA - atypia appears in one bone marrow cell. Then the negative process spreads, a whole series of atypical structures is formed - blood leukemia. Previously, it was also called white blood.
At the earliest stages of its appearance, pathology can in no way make itself felt. The first signs can be detected only by a highly qualified specialist.
It is customary to distinguish between two main forms of leukemia - chronic and acute. Both require early diagnosis and appropriate treatment. With late treatment or lack of proper medical care, the risk of death is high.
Specialists distinguish the following types of pathology:
- lymphoblastic acute leukemia: more often found in the children's category of patients and in adolescence, progresses rapidly, requires immediate comprehensive treatment,
- acute myeloid leukemia - the predominance of pathologically immature blood elements inherent in the adult category of patients, is characterized by a high susceptibility of patients to various infections,
- a chronic variant of the course of lymphoblastic leukemia - an excess of mature white blood cells is observed in the bloodstream, often found in the elderly category of patients, among which men predominate,
- chronic form of myeloid leukemia - characterized by slow progression, clinical manifestations are absent for many years.
Other types of blood cancer can be detected, but much less frequently. For any type of cancer, a number of diagnostic tests are necessary to make an adequate diagnosis of leukemia.
How to recognize acute leukemia
A presumptive diagnosis is formed by a specialist at the person’s first request for medical help - the complaints are carefully taken into account, a physical examination is carried out.
It is very difficult to recognize the pathology at an early stage - the manifestations and symptoms are minimal, a person may not pay attention to them at all, attributing to other negative conditions, for example, overwork, vitamin deficiency. Only previously uncharacteristic weakness, drowsiness, and increased sweating during night rest can be present.
In a general blood test, a moderate increase in ESR, mild anemia can be observed.
Diagnosis of blood cancer at the time of expanded symptoms is not difficult. The patient has many complaints - bleeding gums and subcutaneous small-bruising, as well as other various bleeding, difficulty stopping bleeding even from a small scratch.
The pathological condition is quite explainable by a significant decrease in the number of platelets in the bloodstream - atypical cells block their appearance and development.
Increased tendency to infectious lesions - ordinary tonsillitis is accompanied by ulcerative necrotic complications, and acute respiratory infections end in severe pneumonia due to the fact that protective cells, leukocytes, mutate and collapse. As a result, a person is completely unprotected against aggressive infectious agents.
Visually, you can determine the increased dryness and pallor of the integument, as well as the fragility of the nail plates and hair. All this is a manifestation of anemia, necessarily present with leukemia. From complaints, the patient indicates persistent dizziness, certain changes in olfactory and taste perceptions, fainting conditions.
As blood cancer progresses, diagnosis becomes even easier - mutated cells multiply and spread rapidly throughout the body. The spleen, liver, as well as lymph nodes and bones are primarily attacked aggressively. The pain syndrome complex is growing.
How to recognize chronic leukemia
It is difficult to identify a pathology with its chronic variant of development - nothing has bothered a person for years. The production of mutated cells occurs in small portions. The activity of healthy cells is disrupted little by little, invisibly to the patient's well-being.
At an early stage, an adequate diagnosis of leukemia of this form does not exist. Often they are detected during preventive medical examinations or when a person seeks advice for another reason.
Changes in the blood formula should be alarming - the presence of a large number of immature elements against the background of a reduced platelet volume, red blood cells. A comprehensive examination and consultation of a hematologist as well as an oncologist is required.
In order to diagnose a blood pathology, a number of laboratory tests are necessarily carried out:
- detailed general blood test - is able to show an increase in white blood cells and ESR parameters, with simultaneous platelet and erythrocyte mass deficiency,
- cytogenetic analysis - allows specialists to establish the presence of atypical chromosomes, to clarify the type of oncological process, for this purpose cells are taken directly from the bone marrow, as well as the bloodstream and lymph nodes, for example, in the chronic variant of myeloid leukemia, Philadelphia chromosomes are detected,
- a study based on the reaction of specific antibodies with antigens - immunophenotherapy, allows you to distinguish between chronic or acute lymphoblastic blood cancer with a myeloid form of pathology: according to the special label acquired by the mutated elements after placing the antigen in the solution,
- with the help of a thin needle length, a study is performed such as bone marrow puncture - from areas least covered with muscle fibers, usually from the sternum: in this case, chronic leukemia in the patient or acute form is detected, identification by morphological characteristics and cytogenetic type, as well as which chemotherapy drugs the disease is susceptible to,
- the ratio of atypical and healthy elements in the bloodstream will show a myelogram - the presence of leukemia will be indicated by an increase in the volume of blast cells over 5%, up to a total lesion by them,
- a cytochemical analysis for leukemia, the diagnosis is extremely necessary, especially for the acute form of the disease, allows you to select specific enzymes, for example, the acute lymphoblastic variant is characterized by the presence of a positive SIC response to glycogen while simultaneously negative for lipids.
The laboratory tests described above are usually carried out in specialized cancer hospitals. The required number of diagnostic procedures is determined by the doctor individually for each person.
Whatever form of leukemia is suggested by a specialist, in addition to laboratory diagnostic methods, instrumental ones are recommended:
- Computed tomography is recognized as the most informative at the moment - with its help, the localization of the pathological focus, its prevalence, the presence of distant metastases, for example, in the lymph nodes, foam, spleen, are revealed.
- Radiography is a publicly available and inexpensive research method, performed upon presentation by the patient of complaints of persistent, non-treatable cough, sometimes with bloody streaks in the sputum. Allows to exclude other pathologies, for example, tuberculosis.
- If necessary, an MRI can be prescribed for differential diagnosis - it helps to find the cause of incomprehensible deterioration in well-being: numbness of the extremities, dizziness, visual impairment. The pathological process can spread to the brain and to internal organs, with the formation of a tumor focus in them.
- In doubtful cases, a biopsy is performed - a detected or missing sign of cell atypia in organs.
Each of the above instrumental methods is important for making an adequate diagnosis. In each situation, the specialist determines the optimal number of them to conduct.
In acute types of leukemia, there is a significant increase in the number of white blood cells in the bloodstream. This condition needs to be differentiated from reactive leukocytosis.
Excessive neutrophilic leukocytosis with significant rejuvenation of the composition of the formed elements, for example, accompanies severe infectious lesions - meningococcal pathology. However, blast elements are not detected. In the bone marrow biomaterial, atypia is not detected.
Leukemoid modifications of the neutrophilic type with or without leukocytosis are formed with various malignancies - hepatocellular form of cancer, small cell sarcoma of the lung structures or nephroblastoma.
Qualitative differential diagnosis is difficult if there is no cancer focus available for biopsy - the metastatic elements of these neoplasms in the bone marrow will have a pronounced morphological similarity with leukemic blasts. Diagnosis is more based on clinical manifestations and information from other diagnostic procedures.
If infectious mononucleosis is suspected in the clinical picture, there is a clear similarity of symptoms with acute leukemia - pharyngitis, fever, swollen lymph nodes, hepato- and splenomegaly, as well as various hemorrhagic rashes.
In laboratory studies, moderate leukocytosis, maximum lymphocytosis with the presence of blast-transformed lymphocytes, and even with T-cell markers, are noted. However, anemia and thrombocytopenia are not detected, or they are minimal.
With infectious lymphocytosis, the differential diagnosis is to identify mature full-fledged lymphocytes, they are easily distinguishable with lymphoblasts.
Difficulties may arise in specialists in differentiating the acute form of leukemia with manifestations of hypersplenism, various types of granulocytopenia thrombocytopenia, as well as aplastic anemia. In some cases, a medical consultation is required involving highly qualified specialists in oncology and hematology.
When medical attention is needed
In order for the diagnosis of leukemia to be highly effective, a person should consult a specialist at the very early stage of identifying abnormalities in his health:
- persistent, previously not observed weakness, dizziness,
- noticeable decrease in performance,
- unexplained myalgia, arthralgia,
- frequent hemorrhagic rashes on the skin even if the person did not hit, did not fall,
- detection of bleeding gums when brushing your teeth, even after treatment by a dentist,
- violation of the quality of night rest, excessive sweating, anxiety.
Leukemia, detected in a timely manner when seeking medical help, is a guarantee of good health and high working capacity.
Causes of Blood Cancer
The blood contains several key cells that perform the assigned functions. Red blood cells fill the body’s tissues with oxygen, platelets accelerate the healing of wounds and crevices, and white blood cells protect the human body from dangerous antibodies, protecting against the penetration of foreign bacteria that can provoke pathogenic processes. A normal cell is produced in the bone marrow.Therefore, at the initial stage of development, cells are most susceptible to the negative effects of various factors.
Regardless of the variety, the tissue is able to transform into malignant, cancerous. Over time, the lesion focus begins to endlessly and uncontrollably share and spread to nearby materials, affecting the human body, in general. Moreover, these tissues differ in a different structure and are not able to show their own functions by 100%. Scientists failed to identify the exact causes of the mutational process of materials. However, factors that can affect the development of atypicality in tissues are identified:
- radiation, radiation level in the places of people’s residence is dangerous,
- ecological situation,
- the harmful effects of chemicals
- improper intake of the prescribed course of medications and drugs,
- unhealthy, unbalanced nutrition, consisting mainly of products that adversely affect human health,
- severe chronic pathologies - for example, HIV,
- the use of tobacco products and alcoholic beverages.
Types of cancer
In medical practice, two main types of blood cancer are distinguished - chronic and acute leukemia. Often, the malignant oncological process is characterized by a number of varieties and is divided into types of tissue damage to blood cells. Also, the aggressive nature of the development of oncology, the intensity and speed of reproduction of the neoplasm and expansion along the nearby structures of the body depend on the typology.
In most cases, oncological disease provokes the degeneration of white blood cells. After mutation, the cells acquire a granular structure. Independently, the disease passes at a slow pace. Gradually, due to the replacement of the affected white blood cells with normal, blood formation is disturbed. The following species are distinguished in the chronic type:
- Megakaryocytic leukemia - stem cell degeneration occurs. Multiple pathological conditions occur in the bone marrow. As a result, unhealthy tissues are produced that rapidly divide and actively fill the blood with themselves, which is reflected in the analysis. The quantitative percentage of platelets increases.
- Chronic myeloid leukemia - this type of cancer is diagnosed in most cases in men than in women. The disease occurs after mutation of bone marrow cells.
- Chronic lymphocytic leukemia - this type of pathology in the early stages is asymptomatic or shows a small number of signs, expressed by low intensity. White blood cells accumulate in the materials of organs, which leads to an excessive number of cells in the human body.
- Chronic monocytic leukemia - the latter form does not increase the leukocyte count in the patient's body. However, over time, the quantitative volume of monocytes increases.
Acute leukemia is characterized by a noticeable increase in the level of blood elements. At the same time, accelerated progression and rapid separation of the cancerous growth is noted. This type of oncology is developing rapidly. Therefore, the acute form of leukemia is the most severe course of the disease for the patient. The following types of acute leukemia are distinguished:
- Lymphoblastic leukemia - a malignant disease is more often detected in children in the age category from 1 year to 5 years. Pathology involves the modification of lymphocytes to cancer. The condition causes a symptom of severe poisoning and a strong decrease in the body's immune defenses.
- Erythromyeloblastic leukemia - the bone marrow acts as a native source, triggering an increased rate of development of erythroblasts (normoblasts). The quantitative level of red cells increases.
- Myeloid leukemia - in standard situations, characteristic violations occur in the DNA of blood cell bodies. As a result, the affected cancer cell completely overlaps and displaces normal structures. At the same time, cell deficiency is noted, regardless of the type of substance - white blood cells, platelets or red blood cells.
- Megakaryoblastic leukemia - megakaryoblasts and undifferentiated blasts rapidly increase in the bone marrow. In particular, cancer covers children with developmental disabilities (Down syndrome).
- Monoblastic leukemia - in the process of developing a malignant pathology, the temperature changes systematically, there is a serious intoxication of the body in a person suffering from blood cancer.
Symptoms of oncology depending on the stage
The first symptoms of blood cancer can signal the presence of other types of pathologies in the body. Therefore, a person in rare cases seeks medical help at an early stage. As a result, the patient loses a large amount of precious time.
Over time, in the later stages, other symptoms may appear that indicate a developing atypical process in the patient's body. Often, an altered state in a person can be suspected by his relatives, who send the victim for medical examination.
The following first signs are distinguished, talking about the occurrence of a malignant formation in the body at stage 1:
- General weakness in the body, frequent dizziness.
- Low-grade temperature at around 37.0-37.5 degrees. It is characterized by the absence of any changes over a long time.
- Painful manifestations in the muscle structure and joints.
- Unreasonable headache.
- The presence of aversion to food, to odors.
- Changes in food preferences.
- Frequent trips to the toilet due to impaired urination.
- Frequent development of pathologies of an infectious nature.
In some situations, some types of blood cancer provoke an increase in the size of the spleen and liver in the victim. The condition that the initial stage expresses is determined through such symptoms of the appearance of education - increased bloating, a feeling of heaviness in the hypochondrium and an increase in the size of the abdomen. Also, the causeless appearance of bleeding from the nasal cavity, the appearance of bleeding on the mucous tissues and the formation of hematomas caused by even a slight intensity of strokes are additional signs of the disease in the patient.
Doctors note that, despite the intensity and severity of the manifestation of these factors, the patient does not seek medical help. As a result, the necessary diagnostic procedures do not pass on time, contributing to the rapid start of therapeutic measures, and are in no hurry to be checked to find out about health. Often, a change in the normal state of the body and health is initially noted by relatives. A person has an unreasonable sharp loss of body weight, the skin becomes pale. The patient shows irritability and aggression, unusual for him before. Frequent drowsiness and tearfulness are observed.
Also a characteristic symptom in blood cancer is expressed by the tightness of the resulting nodules under the skin and confirms the presence of oncology. In particular, a nodule forms on the skin in the cervical region, in the armpits, and in the inguinal part. Pathological nodules are accompanied by pronounced soreness. The disease causes inflammation of the lymph nodes, signaling a smooth transition of the oncological process to a further stage of progression.
Stage 2 hemoblastosis is called "expanded." The second stage is characterized by a strong manifestation of the symptoms of the above symptoms of the initial stage. Additionally, the patient has the following symptoms of blood cancer:
- Dizziness occurs systematically, accompanied by nausea and vomiting.
- A person is motion sick, regardless of the chosen method of movement. The sign appears even in people who have not encountered this problem before.
- Active perspiration during night sleep.
- A sharp decrease in body weight for no serious reason.
In most situations, before the manifestation of the above symptoms, a significant proportion of patients are already familiar with their own diagnosis. After the prescribed treatment regimen, the oncological process flows into one of the following forms of development:
- Remission - the form reflects the positive results of the therapy. At the end of this treatment, the production of malignant tissues stops for some time in the body of the victim.
- Terminal - doctors warn of severe destruction and disruption of normal functioning, which is expressed by the hematopoietic system. This type of pathology does not allow to stop the development of oncology. The only task and the possibility of the attending physician in treating the patient is that the norm is maintained in the state of human health by carrying out therapeutic procedures that affect the degree of manifestation of symptoms.
If it was not possible to diagnose the disease up to grade 3, atypicality is revealed, based on the following symptoms:
- The nail plate and the skin of the lips turns blue.
- Temperature readings rise to 38 degrees and above.
- There are painful manifestations in the heart.
- There is tachycardia, and the volumes of the frequency of myocardial contraction are excessively increased.
- The patient suffers from a violation of the respiratory process.
- In the abdominal region, painful sensations of a jerky nature are observed.
- Uncontrolled bleeding occurs.
- Convulsive attacks in muscle structures are noted.
- The level of anxiety increases.
- A fainting condition appears. In some situations, stage 3 manifests itself in such a way that the body does not even have a minimal reaction to external irritant factors.
Determination of these signs of cancer pathology in a patient requires emergency hospitalization. The danger is a threat to the normal health and life of the victim.
Chronic leukemia in the early stages of progression passes without pronounced signs. In most cases, the acute form of cancer is determined after passing the necessary blood tests. If the disease is actively progressing, secondary tumor neoplasms are formed in the human body, the size of the liver and spleen changes, the size of the lymph nodes increases, and an excess volume of blast is produced in the blood.
The specified stage is called "irreversible". The doctor manages to increase the life expectancy of the victim with a chronic type of blood cancer in only 5% of cases. The patient's body undergoes a chaotic and uncontrolled proliferation of substandard cells that affect a variety of organs and structures of the body. Stage 4 of blood oncology is accompanied by the following series of symptoms:
- Multiple substandard cancers penetrating the brain, lungs and liver. At the same time, a pathogenic neoplasm is actively progressing and expanding in nearby structures.
- The formation of bone cancer.
- The formation of a fatal degree of pancreatic cancer.
Only a qualified doctor can determine the exact and final diagnosis after passing the prescribed research procedures by the patient and receiving the final results of the examinations and passing the tests. Diagnosis of cancer involves passing the above measures, and it is also required to pass a number of tests:
- general cancer test
- biochemical analyzes - biochemistry,
- bone marrow examination
- immunological research
- Molecular Genetic Analysis
- cytogenetic examination.
Blood Cancer Treatments
Chemotherapy is the central treatment for blood oncology. Apply cytotoxic drugs. The course of inpatient treatment is 6 months. After treatment and procedures can be done on an outpatient basis. During the first weeks, special physical solutions of prescribed therapeutic substances are systematically administered via a catheter from a vein and intraarterially. The duration of therapy reaches 2 years.
For accelerated recovery and the passage of the rehabilitation period, it is possible to perform stem cell transplantation and pass appropriate tests. Tissue is taken both from bone marrow material and from donated blood. The transplanted stem cell forms healthy blood elements damaged during the chemotherapy procedure. Transplantation is characterized by a debilitating course and is associated with the emergence of some risks and dangerous consequences. However, the procedure is necessary to obtain a positive result.
If the doctor managed to destroy the affected foci in the patient’s body, the donor blood is infused. The method helps to restore the usual level of red blood cells and platelets in a patient. In some situations, radiation therapy is carried out. The technique allows you to see a positive treatment result. It is important to strictly observe the regimen prescribed by the doctor and follow the clinical recommendations. It is recommended to protect the victim from contact with others to prevent possible infection. If a relapse of oncology occurs, a bone marrow transplant is possible. The effectiveness of an operation is always based on blood compatibility between the donor and the patient.
Depending on the stage of development of the pathology, leukemia manifests itself in different ways. Life expectancy is directly based on the degree of progression of the malignant course and type of leukemia. In rare cases, blood cancer is detected in the initial stages. The first symptoms are similar in general manifestation to other, less dangerous diseases. If the disease flows to stage 4, it is not possible to cure a cancerous tumor in the patient.
The pathogenic process becomes almost irreversible. Cell mutation occurs actively and uncontrollably, all organs and structures of the human body are covered. The prognosis reflects a 5% survival rate among patients in the later stages. Patients have an extremely short life span.
It is difficult to name an exact vital indicator. The result depends on the personal characteristics of the patient's body, the degree of development of the disease and the effectiveness of the selected therapeutic method.
Blood Cancer Treatment in Children
In practice, benign or malignant blood cancer often occurs in children aged 1 year and under 5 years. Atypical tissue is affected by radiation received by the mother during pregnancy, psychosomatics and leukemia. Also, the genetic health of the cells inside the child’s body is reflected in the health of the child. However, pathology develops on a similar principle as in adults. The child is faced with a number of all the attendant symptoms. The main difference is that children are more likely to recover successfully. In a child, cell regeneration is at a high level compared to adult patients.
In most situations, children are diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. A similar pathology is characteristic for 80-85% of younger patients with blood cancer. The oncological course in children is treated according to similar schemes, as in adults. For therapeutic purposes, chemotherapy and bone marrow transplantation are performed. Moreover, according to statistical information, chemotherapy procedures at an early age show the most positive result, which is significantly lower in the adult patient population.The reason lies in the characteristics of the child's body. Children are rapidly recovering and returning to their normal state after exposure to medications.
Blood Cancer Survival Prediction
To identify an accurate and correct prognosis regarding the cure of cancer, the doctor must take into account the location of the pathogenic focus and the stage of development when a dangerous pathology was discovered. According to statistics, for patients suffering from a chronic form of leukemia, the prognosis is set to be better compared to the acute type of oncology. A positive outcome is also predicted in children. In particular, when a disease is detected in the early stages of progression.
When leukemia passes from a chronic type to an acute form, doctors talk about a life expectancy equal to the limit from six months to 12 months. However, with timely diagnosis and rapid treatment, it is possible to increase the life expectancy of up to 7 years. Acute leukemia can be cured if a malignant process is detected at the initial stage. If treatment began at a late stage, the course of oncological pathology ends in death.
It is important to understand that in the general forecasting of the likely outcome of the treatment of the disease, the attending physician is guided exclusively by the list of general statistical information about similar diagnoses and situations. Information is being collected regarding how long and how people with blood cancer live in such cases. However, the clinical case is individual. You can not fully trust the forecast made by the doctor, since the accuracy of the indicators is not proven.
Medical practice will show that among 100 thousand people, five people get cancer. Men are affected 1.5 times more often by blood cell cancer. Women rarely face danger. Chronic leukemia in most cases occurs in people in the age category from 40 to 50 years. The acute form of leukemia is often found in adolescents over the age of 10 and under 18 years of age.
In children, the oncological process reveals about 3-4 patients among 100 thousand people. An acute type of lymphoblastic leukemia is successfully treated at an early stage in 85-90% of diagnosed cases. With a late diagnosis of the disease, recovery rates are reduced to 60-65% of cases. Properly conducted therapy, regardless of the severity of the ongoing pathology, can result in up to 6-7 additional years of life.
Speaking about how many adult patients suffering from a variety of cancer pathology live, it is difficult to provide a definitive answer. With properly conducted treatment and with a timely diagnosed malignant disease, a person is able to live for more than five years. However, doctors are not able to predict life expectancy among patients with acute and chronic type of blood cancer.
What is blood cancer?
Usually this is a combination of various pathologies, because of which there is a complete suppression of the hematopoietic system, and as a result, healthy bone marrow cells are replaced by sick ones. In this case, the replacement can be almost all cells. Cancers in the blood usually divide and multiply rapidly, thereby replacing healthy cells.
There is both chronic blood cancer and acute leukemia, usually a malignant neoplasm in the blood has different varieties according to the type of lesion of certain groups of cells in the blood. The aggressiveness of the cancer itself and the speed of its spread also depend on this.
Usually, the disease undergoes a modification of white blood cells, with a mutation they become granular. The disease itself is quite slow. Later, as a result of replacing sick white blood cells with healthy ones, the function of hematopoiesis is disrupted.
- Megakaryocytic Leukemia. The stem cell is mutated, multiple pathologies appear in the bone marrow. Subsequently, diseased cells appear that divide very quickly and fill the blood only with them. Platelet count is increasing.
- Chronic myeloid leukemia. The most interesting thing is that it is men who are more affected by this disease. The process begins after a mutation of bone marrow cells.
- Chronic lymphocytic leukemia. This disease is not symptomatic at first. White blood cells accumulate in the tissues of organs, and there are a lot of them.
- Chronic monocytic leukemia. This form does not increase the number of leukocytes, but the number of monocytes increases.
Causes of Blood Cancer
As you probably know, blood consists of several main cells that perform their function. Red blood cells deliver oxygen to the tissues of the whole body, platelets allow clogging of wounds and gaps, and white blood cells protect our body from antibodies and foreign organisms.
Cells are born in the bone marrow, and in the early stages are more susceptible to an external factor. Any cell can turn into a cancer, which will subsequently endlessly divide and multiply. Moreover, these cells have a different structure and do not fulfill their function 100%.
The exact factors by which cell mutation can occur are not yet known to scientists, but there are some suspicions:
- Radiation and radiation background in cities.
- Chemical substances.
- Wrong course of drugs and drugs.
- Poor nutrition.
- Severe illnesses, such as HIV.
- Smoking and alcohol.
Why is cancer dangerous? Cancer cells initially begin to mutate in the bone marrow, they divide endlessly there and take nutrients from healthy cells, plus secreting a large number of waste products.
When there are too many of them, these cells already begin to spread through the blood into all tissues of the body. Blood cancer usually comes from two diagnoses: leukemia and lymphosarcoma. But the correct scientific name, after all, is precisely “hemoblastosis,” that is, a tumor arose as a result of a mutation of hematopoietic cells.
Hemoblastoses that appear in the bone marrow are called leukemia. Previously, it was also called leukemia or white blood - this is when a large number of immature white blood cells appears in the blood.
If the tumor originated outside the bone marrow, then it is called hematosarcoma. There is also a more rare disease of the lymphocytoma - this is when a tumor affects mature lymphocytes. Blood cancer or hemablastosis has a bad course due to the fact that cancer cells can affect any organ, and in this case, with any form, the lesion will fall on the bone marrow.
After metastases begin and malignant cells spread to different types of tissue, they subsequently behave differently, and because of this, the treatment itself worsens. The fact is that each such cell perceives treatment in its own way and can respond differently to chemotherapy.
What is the difference between malignant blood cancer and benign? In fact, benign tumors do not spread to other organs and the disease itself proceeds without symptoms. Malignant cells grow very quickly and metastasize even faster.
Blood cancer symptoms
Consider the very first signs of blood cancer:
- Headaches, dizziness
- Bone pain and brittle joints
- Aversion to food and smell
- The temperature rises without certain signs and diseases.
- General weakness and fatigue.
- Frequent infectious diseases.
The first symptoms of blood cancer can also indicate other diseases, which is why the patient rarely goes to the doctor at this stage and loses a lot of time. Later, other symptoms may appear, to which relatives and friends pay attention:
- The yellowness of the skin.
- Bleeding that does not stop for a long time.
In some cases, the lymph nodes of the liver and spleen can greatly increase, because of which the abdomen swells in size, a strong sensation of bloating appears. At later stages, a rash appears on the skin, in the mucous membranes in the mouth begin to bleed.
With the defeat of the lymph nodes, you will see a solid seal, but without painful symptoms. In this case, you should immediately consult a doctor and make an ultrasound of the necessary zones.
NOTE! An increase in the spleen of the liver may also be due to other infectious diseases, so an additional examination is necessary.
Metastases began to deeply affect other organs. The effectiveness of chemotherapy is significantly reduced, due to the fact that other tumors begin to respond differently to the same chemical reagent. Pathology in women can spread to the genitals, uterus and mammary glands.
How is blood cancer treated?
In order to fight this ailment, chemotherapy is usually used. Using a needle, chemical reagents are injected into the bloodstream, which are directed directly to the cancer cells. It is clear that other cells also suffer, as a result of which appears: hair loss, heartburn, nausea, vomiting, loose stools, decreased immunity and anemia.
The problem with this therapy is that of course the reagents themselves are aimed at destroying only cancer cells, but they are very similar to our relatives. And later they can mutate and change their properties, because of which any reagent simply ceases to act. As a result, more toxic substances are used, which already adversely affect the body itself.
A malignant blood disease is a very nasty disease, and compared to other tumors it is very fast, therefore, if it is not diagnosed and treated on time, the patient dies within 5 months.
There is another rather dangerous method of treatment when bone marrow transplantation is in progress. In this case, before using chemotherapy, they completely destroy the bone marrow of the patient in order to completely destroy the cancer cells.
NOTE! Dear readers, remember that no healers and healers can help you cure this ailment, and since it develops very quickly, you definitely need to see a doctor in time. In this case, you can use: vitamins, decoctions of chamomile, yarrow herbs, sea buckthorn oil - they have the properties of an anti-inflammatory effect and will help stop the blood if something happens. Do not use folk remedies such as: tincture of fly agaric, hemlock, celandine and other means with sending substances. You must understand that in this case the patient’s body has a very weakened effect, and this can simply finish it off.
Can we cure blood cancer or not?
Can blood cancer be cured? It all depends on the degree and stage of the cancer, as well as on the species itself. In acute leukemia, the disease is usually very aggressive and quick - doctors need more chemotherapy courses, so in this case the prognosis is more sad. For Chronic leukemia, everything is much more rosy, as the disease does not spread and develop so quickly.
Blood cancer in children
In fact, this disease is quite common in young patients from 1 to 5 years. This is mainly due to the radiation that mothers receive during pregnancy, as well as with a genetic disorder inside the child.
In this case, the disease proceeds in the same way as in adults, with all the accompanying symptoms. The difference is that children are much more likely to recover - this is due to the fact that the regeneration of cells and tissues in babies is at a much higher level than in adults.
Blood cancer prognosis
- Sick 4-10 people per 100,000 people.
- One and a half times men get sick more often. In women, the disease is less common.
- Chronic leukemia affects more people from 40 to 50 years old.
- Acute leukemia often affects young people aged 10 to 18 years.
- Children's leukemia 3-4 cases per 100,000 people.
- Acute lymphoblastic leukemia is cured in the early stages - 85-95%. In the later stages, 60-65%.
- With proper therapy, even against the background of acute leukemia, you can achieve results up to 6-7 years of life.
How many patients with leukemia live? With proper therapy and with early detection of the disease, you can live more than 5-7 years. In general, doctors give mixed predictions for acute and chronic forms of blood cancer.
Description of the disease
Blood cancer is the common name for a group of diseases that doctors commonly call hemoblastoses. They can have slightly different symptoms and each kind of disease can have its own differences. However, they are united by one thing - the mechanism of their occurrence. It is associated with a violation of hematopoiesis - the process of creating new blood cells - red blood cells (red blood cells), or white blood cells (white blood cells and lymphocytes). The process of hematopoiesis is very complex, and in the course of it the embryos of blood cells (stem cells) undergo many transformations. At some point, due to a mutation in the stem cell DNA, this process may be disrupted, and as a result, instead of normal cells (leukocytes, erythrocytes and platelets), cells will appear that are not able to perform their functions, but can only divide unlimitedly.
As a result, blood can no longer fully fulfill its basic functions - providing tissues with oxygen and protecting the body from infections. Signs of such a process are weakening health, an increase in various infectious diseases, and the occurrence of anemia. But moreover, defective blood cells can attack healthy tissues, especially bone tissues, and also release toxic substances. Accumulation of defective cells can be observed throughout the body. Such signs as severe pain and intoxication of the body may indicate this. The work of the main organs is disrupted - the heart, brain, liver and kidneys.
Doctors distinguish between two types of leukemia - acute and chronic. The main difference between these types is in the rate of development of the symptoms of the disease. Acute leukemia develops over several weeks or months, while chronic leukemia can progress over many years. In this case, the patient may not observe any visible signs of the disease. Chronic and acute leukemia differ in their etiology and cannot pass into each other.
Also, in some cases, the pathological process develops mainly in the bone marrow, and in other cases in the lymph nodes. The last kind of disease is called lymphoma. Lymphomas are regional diseases, unlike systemic leukemia.
Acute leukemia are divided into:
In the case of chronic leukemia, the following classification is accepted:
- basophilic leukemia,
- myelocytic leukemia,
- eosinophilic leukemia,
- myelomonocytic leukemia,
- neutrophilic leukemia,
- myeloid leukemia
- Cesari's disease
- essential thrombocytopenia,
- monocytic leukemia,
- lymphocytic leukemia
- histiocytosis X,
- Franklin heavy chain disease,
- Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia.
The most common disease from the group of chronic leukemia is lymphocytic leukemia, which is most often observed in older adults.
Blood cancer, symptoms in women and men
How to recognize a disease like blood cancer in time? Symptoms in women and in men in most cases coincide. That is, the signs of the disease are little dependent on the patient's gender.
A kind of disease can leave its imprint on what exactly a patient feels, suffering from an ailment such as blood cancer. Symptoms for different types of leukemia may vary. However, there are common signs that are characteristic of all variants of the disease.
Common symptoms for all types of blood cancer include:
- daytime drowsiness and / or insomnia,
- frequent infectious diseases that are difficult to treat,
- chronic (within a few weeks) fever to a subfebrile level,
- excessive sweating, especially at night,
- poor wound healing
- frequent bleeding (from the nose and gums),
- pallor and dryness of the skin,
- decreased appetite and weight,
- purulent inflammation and hemorrhagic rashes on the skin,
- impaired memory and attention,
- aversion to odors
- change in taste.
If a person has some symptoms from the list, then he should not wait for the development of a potential disease, but should consult a doctor for advice. Of course, many of the listed symptoms may be evidence of less dangerous ailments, for example, somatoform autonomic dysfunction of the nervous system (or vegetative-vascular dystonia, as it is commonly called). However, you should not diagnose yourself. After all, a simple blood test can tell a lot to a specialist.
As already mentioned, if the body struck blood cancer, the symptoms in women and men in general terms coincide. However, representatives of the fair sex can also observe phenomena that are characteristic only for them. With the development of a disease such as blood cancer, symptoms in women include unusual phenomena associated with the menstrual cycle and female genital organs:
- profuse and frequent uterine bleeding,
- too long periods
- severe pain at the beginning of the menstrual cycle.
In some variants of blood cancer, a symptom appears such as an increase in lymph nodes, primarily axillary and cervical. Normally, no lymph nodes should be probed in a person, with the exception of the submandibular and inguinal (and even those are usually palpated with difficulty).
In the early stages, cancer usually develops unnoticed. Therefore, patients, as a rule, take the symptoms of an ailment for ordinary malaise, colds, overwork.
As the disease progresses, symptoms become more noticeable. Severe pain appears that cannot be relieved with traditional painkillers. In some varieties of the disease, they can be felt in the bones, and sometimes in the stomach. Bones become brittle and deformed, joints become inflamed, cramps appear, problems with the kidneys, liver and spleen, heart failure, depression, insomnia. The skin acquires a blue tint, especially in the area of the lips and nails, dark circles appear under the eyes.
Since the reasons for the occurrence of cancer are not exactly known, it is difficult to protect oneself from this disease with 100% probability. Nevertheless, it is recommended to carefully monitor your health, strengthen immunity, avoid overwork, exercise regularly, give up bad habits (smoking and drinking alcohol), and avoid radiation exposure and contact with carcinogens. Particular attention should be paid to unpleasant symptoms for those people whose blood relatives suffered from leukemia. It is recommended that such a category of citizens undergo regular examinations and blood tests.
Blood cancer classification
The usual division of the disease into categories implies the allocation of two main forms: acute and chronic blood cancer.
The acute course of blood cancer is determined by a significant number of immature cells that inhibit the standard production of blood. A sign of chronic leukemia is considered to be overly active formation of two types of bodies: granulocytes or granular leukocytes. As noted above, it is they who ultimately replace healthy cells that previously formed blood.
Both acute and chronic forms of leukemia are two different hematologic diseases. Unlike other diseases, an acute type of blood cancer can never be a chronic form of leukemia, and a chronic type of blood cancer can not be more severe.
How many live with blood cancer?
The prognosis for chronic leukemia is many times more positive than for acute forms. The extremely fast, even aggressive course of acute leukemia always provokes an equally rapid "extinction" of the patient.
Presented form of leukemia:
Virtually not amenable to adequate treatment,
It often turns out to be a catalyst for the formation of lymphoblastic leukemia (in about 80% of cases).
With this type of late-stage leukemia, months go by. In case of timely intervention, from two to five years.
Chronic leukemia is determined by a slower course. However, this happens exactly up to a certain stage at which the so-called “blast crisis” sets in. In this case, chronic leukemia in fact acquires all the features of acute.
A fatal outcome at this stage may well come from any consequences of the ailment. Medical intervention provided on time makes it possible for many years and even decades to achieve long-term remission.
The patient's life span in case he is ill with blood cancer directly depends on the adequacy of treatment, the overall picture and stage of the disease. In the best case, a person can be cured and live to old age. The younger the patient, the greater the chance of a 100% recovery.
The early stage of acute leukemia
The symptoms of leukemia at an early stage should be distinguished from signs of a later stage. At the initial stage, the patient is faced with:
Painful sensations in the abdominal cavity, especially in its upper region,
Soreness in the joints, which may be accompanied by "aches" in the bones,
Frequent bleeding, which is quite difficult to stop,
Forced formation of bruises or blood stains,
A significant increase in the size of not only the liver, but also the lymph nodes,
Constant weakness, lethargy and apathy,
A febrile condition
Frequent infectious diseases
As a rule, this stage of blood cancer is already diagnosed after the fact - when moving to a further stage of the disease.
Acute Acute Blood Cancer Advanced Stage
The so-called "advanced stage" is accompanied by symptoms such as:
The nausea that the patient perceives as sudden onset of malaise, which from time to time is accompanied by significant dizziness and even vomiting,
Motion sickness or motion sickness in any vehicle, even if there have never been such signs before,
Active sweat at night,
Rapid weight loss, which occurs for no apparent reason.
After timely treatment, it can develop into the following stages:
Remission (in the patient’s blood, blast-type cells do not form for several years. It’s about five to seven years),
Terminal (in this case, the absolute oppression of the hematopoietic system is revealed, in which normal functioning is simply impossible).
Acute late stage cancer
At a late stage, if leukemia has not been identified, but the following signs are manifested, the patient needs the most urgent hospitalization:
Lips and nails turn blue
Modifications of all levels of consciousness or an increased degree of anxiety. In this case, unconscious conditions can form for no reason, and there is also the absence of any reactions to external stimulations,
Pain in the region of the heart, tightness or significant pressure in the chest, palpitation (forced heartbeat with an irregular rhythm),
Increased body temperature (over 38 ° C),
Extremely high frequency of contractions of the heart muscle (tachycardia),
Dyspnea is a dysfunction of the respiratory system that is characterized by difficulty or hoarseness,
Palpable painful tremors in the abdominal cavity,
Uncontrolled or sufficiently strong blood flow.
Symptoms of a chronic form
The chronic form of blood cancer is characterized by individual symptoms:
The initial stage takes place without obvious external manifestations, in the case of studies, it becomes possible to identify an increased number of granular type white blood cells (otherwise this is called the monoclonal phase of blood cancer),
The polyclone stage is characterized by the formation of secondary tumors, a significant change in the number of blast cells. Also, this stage is characterized by the manifestation of complications in the form of damage to the lymph nodes, a significant change in the size of the liver and spleen.
Stage 4 Blood Cancer
Separately, it is necessary to talk about the fourth stage of blood cancer. This stage is known as the last, that is, irreversible or reversible, but in a maximum of 5% of cases.
At the same time, chaotic and forced proliferation, as well as the spread of malignant cells throughout the body, are observed. This process is accompanied by damage to neighboring healthy organs and tissues, the formation of distant metastatic tumor foci that are located in all organs of the body.
Thus, to the 4th stage of blood cancer should include such manifestations as:
Malignant tumors that grow extremely fast,
The occurrence of bone cancer (in any form),
A rapidly growing lesion of formations with metastases of the lungs, bones, pancreas, brain region,
Formations of the "extremely fatal" type, for example, pancreatic cancer.
Causes and symptoms
The main reasons why blood cancer appears at such an early age should be considered two factors:
Exposure to radiation, as well as exposure to the mother during any period of pregnancy,
Dysfunction of a genetic nature (hereditary factor).
Manifestations of the disease in children are similar to those encountered by adults:
Pain in bones and joints
General feeling of weakness and drowsiness,
Resizing of certain organs (liver and spleen), as well as lymph nodes.
The accompanying symptoms should be considered that the child does not want to play something, his appetite partially or completely disappears, as a result of this, the body index decreases quite seriously.
The earliest sign of leukemia in children may be angina. Often there are minor rashes on the skin and an increased degree of bleeding.
Forms of the disease
The disease represented by the type of oncology in children is determined by two forms - acute and chronic. The characteristic of the disease can be determined not by the duration of the manifestations of a clinical nature, but by the structure of the cells of the malignant formation. The acute form of leukemia in childhood is determined by the presence of such cells in the cell substrate that have not yet matured. The chronic form is manifested in the presence of mature formations in the tumor cells.
Often children are diagnosed with a form known as “neuroleukemia”. Symptoms of a neurological nature (disturbance in the activity of the meninges or brain tissue), sudden dizziness, and migraine most often indicate its presence in the children's body. The presented category of leukemia is formed exclusively in repeated cases of the formation of an ailment.
With this scenario, specialists use new combinations of drugs, because treating a child with a similar disease is quite problematic.
Treatment of blood cancer in a child
In order to cure a child’s blood cancer, the same methods are used as in the case of adults: chemotherapy and bone marrow transplantation. The result after chemical therapy in childhood is often better than it can be in adults.
A similar effect is due to the fact that the child’s body is much better and faster to normal after the implementation of the treatment course. In the case of a bone marrow transplant, donors are almost always close relatives of the child - brothers or sisters.
In the process of diagnosing blood cancer in a child, it is advisable to carry out a blood transfusion. This is due to the fact that in a sick child, a bone-type brain ceases to develop any type of cell. In the event that transfusion is not carried out, the child may die from all kinds of simple infections and the most insignificant secretions of blood.