Blood Cancer  |  Photo Credit: iStock Images

The news that acclaimed actor Kirron Kher (also a BJP MP) has been diagnosed with multiple myeloma - a type of blood cancer - came as a shock to the nation's people. That Ms Kheris undergoing treatment and is in fine hands was tweeted by her husband and actor Anupam Kher, who also conveyed the same on the behalf of son Siddharth Kher.

Despite great strides in research, treatments, and medicines, the word cancer still strikes fear in the human heart. But it is always good to arm oneself with knowledge about this king of maladies, and not be cowed down with fear. Because treatments forblood cancerhave vastly improved over the last several decades, many types ofblood cancersare now highlytreatable, says the website.

What is Blood Cancer?

Blood canceris a type of malignancy that affects the blood, bone marrow, or lymphatic system. Most blood cancers, also called hematologic cancers, start in the bone marrow.

And what is Bone Marrow?Bone marrow is a spongy substance found in the centre of the bones. It manufactures bone marrowstemcells and other substances, which in turn produce blood cells. Each type of bloodcellmade by the bone marrow has an important job:

Blood cancers occur when abnormal blood cells start growing out of control, interrupting the function of normal blood cells, which fight off infection and produce new blood cells.

Types of blood cancers

The three main types of blood cancer are leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma:

1. Leukaemiais a blood cancer that originates in the blood and bone marrow. It occurs when the body creates too many abnormal white blood cells and interferes with the bone marrows ability to make red blood cells and platelets.

There are 2 types of blood cancers linked with the Lymphatic System: Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma and Hodgkin Lymphoma.But what is the Lymphatic System?The lymphatic system is a part of our immune system and has many functions. They include protecting ourbodyfrom illness-causing invaders, maintainingbodyfluid levels, absorbing digestive tractfatsand removing cellular waste

2 (a). Non-Hodgkin lymphomais a blood cancer that develops in the lymphatic system from cells called lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell that helps the body fight infections.

2(b). Hodgkin lymphomais a blood cancer that develops in the lymphatic system from cells called lymphocytes. Hodgkin lymphoma is characterized by the presence of an abnormal lymphocyte called the Reed-Sternberg cell.

3. Multiple myelomais a blood cancer that begins in the bloods plasma cells, a type of white blood cell made in the bone marrow.

According to a report in The Indian Express, blood cancer accounts for eight per cent of all new cases of cancer diagnosed in India. Of all types of blood cancers, the three most common types that affect the Indian population are lymphoma, leukemia and multiple myeloma, Dr Sunil Bhat, director and clinical lead, Pediatric Hematology, Oncology and Blood and Marrow Transplantation, Mazumdar Shaw Cancer Centre, Narayana Health City told exclusively to The Indian Express. While lymphomas and leukaemia affect adults and children both, myeloma is a relatively common condition that affects adults.

What are the causes and symptoms:While there is no clarity as yet on what exactly triggers blood cancers, doctors do attribute some events as culprits, such as a family history of leukemia, smoking, genetic blood disorders, such as myelodysplastic syndrome, which is sometimes called preleukemia, previous treatment for cancer with chemotherapy or radiation therapy, exposure to either high levels of radiation orchemicals such as benzene, etc.

Symptoms of blood cancer can be:

Blood cancer treatment and therapy options

Treatment for blood cancer depends on the type of cancer, one's age, how fast the cancer is progressing, where cancer has spread and other factors. Doctors decide the treatments based on the individual case. These are specialised treatments, calls for which can only be taken by doctors who are trained in the same; but some known protocols are:

Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purpose only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.

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Actor Kirron Kher diagnosed with blood cancer: Know the symptoms, treatment options of multiple myeloma - Times Now

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