Blood cancer is one of the most common types of cancer that generally affects people of all age groups. According to a report published by WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer India has the third-highest number of haematological cancers popularly known as blood cancer. There was a time when cancer was considered an incurable disease but over the recent years the situations have changed drastically with the evolution in medical technology. This has made cancer treatments possible with up to 90 per cent survival chances. The World Blood Cancer Day is observed every year on May 28th around the world to show support for blood cancer patients. According to experts early diagnosis in cancer especially blood cancer increases the chance of survival thanks to evolved treatment modalities of the modern times.
WHAT IS BLOOD CANCER?
Mostly heamatological cancers originate in bone marrow where blood is produced. This condition occurs when faulty blood cells affect the function of the normal ones that fend off infections and generate new cells. There are three types of blood cancers — leukaemia lymphoma and myeloma. In leukaemia your body develops too many abnormal white blood cells (leukocytes) and makes it tough for your bone marrow to produce red blood cells. While lymphoma occurs when too many lymphocytes crowd out healthy white blood cells. Whereas myeloma has its origin in the plasma cells of the blood. These are white blood cells produced in your bone marrow.
WHAT DOES BLOOD CANCER DO TO YOUR BODY?
The most visible symptoms of blood cancer include chills fatigue and weakness night sweats pain in the bones and joints and swollen lymph nodes. It takes a toll on your immunity making you prone to various infections and other conditions. Cancer also affects the rate at which your blood clots. So small cuts or injuries may tend to bleed for a longer period of time. You may also experience unusual bruising bleeding of the gums and blood in stool. Women may go through heavy bleeding during their periods.
IS BLOOD CANCER CURABLE?
According to the experts lymphoma in adults is 80-90 per cent curable while acute leukaemia in adults can be 40-50 per cent curable. But most of the myeloma cases are incurable. The treatment for blood cancer usually depends on the type of cancer age of the person who’s affected and the severity of the cancer. Depending on these factors doctors may suggest chemotherapy supportive care stem cell transplantation etc.
REDUCE YOUR RISK OF BLOOD CANCER
According to the guidelines of the American Oncology Institute one can decrease the risk of blood cancer by following certain lifestyle measures. They include exercising regularly eating healthy avoiding exposure to herbicides insecticides and radiations. Here are some simple dietary tips to bring down your chance of falling prey to this condition.
Target plant-based diets
Eat generous amounts of vegetables and fruits salads beans and cereals in your diet. This will help in increasing your immunity.
Include omega-3 fatty acids in your meals
These acids have anti-cancer properties. The best food sources could be fish walnuts soya bean so on and so forth. You can also opt for fish oil supplements.
An antioxidant known as lycopene is present in tomatoes. It comes with cancer fighting properties. The best way to get lycopene from tomatoes is to heat them well. So tomato soup can be a good option. You can also have it with other anti-oxidant rich veggies in the form of a salad.
Use olive oil in your recipes
Several studies have associated high intake of olive oil with cancer risk reduction. You can have this oil in your salads or sprinkle it on cooked veggies too. Also try using olive oil while marinating your meat fish or poultry.