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Blood Cancer Treatment

Best blood cancer treatment hospitals in India

Leukemia (British spelling: leukaemia ) is cancer of the blood or bone marrow (which produces blood cells). A person who has leukemia suffers from an abnormal production of blood cells, generally leukocytes (white blood cells). The DNA of immature blood cells, mainly white cells, becomes damaged in some way. This abnormality causes the blood cells to grow and divide chaotically. Normal blood cells die after a while and are replaced by new cells which are produced in the bone marrow. The abnormal blood cells do not die so easily, and accumulate, occupying more and more space. As more and more space is occupied by these faulty blood cells there is less and less space for the normal cells - and the sufferer becomes ill. Quite simply, the bad cells crowd out the good cells in the blood.

Symptoms of leukemia (BLOOD CANCER)

- Blood clotting is poor -

As immature white blood cells crowd out blood platelets, which are crucial for blood clotting, the patient may bruise or bleed easily and heal slowly - he may also develop petechiae (a small red to purple spot on the body, caused by a minor hemorrhage).

- Affected immune system -

The patient's white blood cells, which are crucial for fighting off infection, may be suppressed or not working properly. The patient may experience frequent infections, or his immune system may attack other good body cells.

- Anemia -

As the shortage of good red blood cells grows the patient may suffer from anemia - this may lead to difficult or labored respiration (dyspnea) and pallor (skin has a pale color caused by illness).

Other symptoms :
  • - Fever, chills
  • - Persistent fatigue, weakness
  • - Loss of appetite, nausea
  • - Unexplained weight loss
  • - Night sweats
  • - Bone/joint pain
  • - Abdominal discomfort
  • - Headaches
  • - Shortness of breath
  • - Frequent infections
  • - Itchy skin or skin rash
  • - Swollen lymph nodes in the neck, underarms, groin
What causes leukemia(blood cancer)?

Experts say that different leukemias have different causes. The following are either known causes, or strongly suspected causes:

  • - Artificial ionizing radiation
  • - Viruses - HTLV-1 (human T-lymphotropic virus) andHIV (human immunodeficiency virus)
  • - Benzene and some petrochemicals
  • - Alkylating chemotherapy agents used in previous cancers
  • - Maternal fetal transmission (rare)
  • - Hair dyes
  • - Genetic predisposition - some studies researching family history and looking at twins have indicated that some people have a higher risk of developing leukemia because of a single gene or multiple genes. - Down syndrome - people with Down syndrome have a significant ly higher risk of developing leukemia, compared to people who do not have Down syndrome. Experts say that because of this, people with certain chromosomal abnormalities may have a higher risk.
  • - Electromagnetic energy - studies indicate there is not enough evidence to show that ELF magnetic (not electric) fields that exist currently might cause leukemia. The IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) says that studies which indicate there is a risk tend to be biased and unreliable.
Blood Cancer Treatment & Therapy Options

Treatment for blood cancer depends on the type of cancer, your age, how fast the cancer is progressing, where the cancer has spread and other factors. Some common blood cancer treatments include:

In general, there are five major approaches to the treatment of leukemia:

  • 1) Chemotherapy to kill leukemia cells using strong anti-cancer drugs.
  • 2) Interferon therapy to slow the reproduction of leukemia cells and promote the immune system's anti-leukemia activity.
  • 3) Radiation therapy to kill cancer cells by exposure to high-energy radiation
  • 4) Stem cell transplantation (SCT) to enable treatment with high doses of chemotherapy and radiation therapy and
  • 5) Surgery to remove an enlarged spleen or to install a venous access device (large plastic tube) to give medications and withdraw blood samples.
Stem cell transplantation:

A stem cell transplant infuses healthy blood-forming stem cells into the body. Stem cells can be collected from the bone marrow, circulating (peripheral) blood and umbilical cord blood.


Chemotherapy is the use of anticancer drugs designed to interfere with and halt the growth of cancer cells in the body. Chemotherapy for blood cancer sometimes consists of giving several drugs together in a set regimen. It may also be given before a stem cell transplant.

Radiation therapy:

Radiation therapy may be used to destroy cancer cells or to relieve pain or discomfort. It may also be given before a stem cell transplant. Leukemia is not a single disease. Instead, the term leukemia refers to a number of related cancers that start in the blood-forming cells of the bone marrow. There are both acute and chronic forms of leukemia, each with many subtypes that vary in their response to treatment. In addition, children with leukemia have special needs that are best met by care in pediatric cancer centers.

Stem Cell Transplantation

Best blood cancer treatment in India

Younger patients that are at high risk of dying from CLL might consider hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Autologous stem cell transplantation, a lower-risk form of treatment using the patient's own blood cells, is not curative. Myeloablative (bone marrow killing) forms of allogeneic stem cell transplantation, a high-risk treatment using blood cells from a healthy donor, may be curative for some patients, but most patients cannot tolerate the treatment. An intermediate level, called reduced-intensity conditioning allogeneic stem cell transplantation, may be better tolerated by older or frail patients.

Biological Therapy

: Biological therapy, also referred to as immunotherapy, involves the treatment with those substances that affect the ability of an immune system to kill cancer cells. Monoclonal antibodies and interferon are the two types of biological therapy. The purpose of monoclonal antibodies is to stick to cancer cells in order to draw the attention of the immune system to these cancer cells. On the other hand, interferon helps in stimulating the immune system so as to destroy the cancer cells. These two options are generally used for chronic leukemia instead of acute leukemia.