Defeat blood cancer through advanced blood cancer treatment in India
An estimated 1.24 million people are diagnosed with blood cancer worldwide annually, accounting for 6% of all cancer cases.
More than that these numbers are increasing month on month. However, with the advancement of technologies, skills, experience, the Blood cancer survival rates in India are also increasing.
Though blood cancer detection itself is a shock for the patient and the family, with the right treatment with right protocol at the right time, blood cancers are curable now.
You can also be a blood cancer survivor. What you need is the right guidance, treatment, and protocol for the stage of cancer.
Let’s meet Mr. Ebo who works as a pilot in Ethiopian Airlines. Mr. Ebo lives in Addis Ababa with his wife Diarra and two beautiful daughters, Annely(4-year-old) and Anika (10-year-old). Diarra is a teacher by profession. Both the daughter wants to follow the path of their father and become pilot.
Ebo and Diarra love their daughters very much and they regularly visit zoos and parks along with their daughters.
6 months back, Annely was regularly getting a fluctuating fever. Whenever medicines were given, fever used to get down but after a few hours, the temperature rose again to 100 degrees.
Diarra showed her daughter to a few pediatricians but the condition remains the same. One of the pediatricians advised her to show Annely to an oncologist. She, thereafter, visited the oncologist in a nearby hospital.
The Oncologist after evaluation and analyzing the previous blood test reports suggested Diarra for bone marrow aspiration and biopsy.
They did the tests reports came next day, the doctor called them and said that their daughter has blood cancer of type T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Diarra and Ebo were in shock after listening to this. Diarra burst with emotion and couldn’t control her tears, Ebo supported her. The doctor told Ebo that they have to admit Annely and start the treatment.
Ebo and Diarra’s minds were not accepting the fact that their daughter is having cancer and wanted to take a second opinion from another oncologist. The second opinion was also the same.
Ebo wanted the best blood cancer treatment for her daughter so he started searching the internet and reading more about acute lymphoblastic leukemia and it’s treatment. He explored US, India, and Thailand. With his research, he concluded that India is the best option for blood cancer treatment from both the outcomes and cost perspective.
While searching for the best option for blood cancer treatment in India, Ebo got to know about MedicoExperts. Ebo left the inquiry on MedicoExperts website and the MedicoExperts patient care department got in touch with Ebo. Ebo shared the diagnostic test reports of her daughter with the MedicoExperts team.
MedicoExperts arranged the online video consultation with the onco-hemaetologist who cleared all the doubts of Ebo regarding the treatment.
The doctor has suggested him bone marrow transplant as a permanent cure. He also shared that siblings are the first choice for bone marrow donation.
Luckily Anika’s bone marrow matched after the HLA testing. Diarra and Edo have taken leave for a month for the treatment and after 2 weeks they came to India for the treatment.
Annely and Anika have been admitted to the hospital. The doctor did a thorough evaluation once again to ascertain the clinical readiness for both siblings. All the reports were in favor of Annely.
Doctors started the chemotherapy sessions for Annely. After the chemotherapy course, the doctor started the bone marrow transplant.
Annely was kept in the observation and requested the family to stay in India for another couple of months. Anne responded to treatment very well and as she started gaining her strength. After two months doctor evaluated the progress with a few diagnostic tests.
Reports suggested that the treatment was successful.
Edo and Diarra were very happy and thanked MedicoExperts and the treating doctor for saving the life of her daughter.
Annely, a 4-year-old brave girl fought and defeated acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
This story can also be your story against the fight of blood cancer. Right diagnosis and treatment at the right time play a major role in this battle.
Bone marrow comprises stem cells that develop into:
- Red blood cells carry oxygen to your body’s tissues and organs. It brings carbon dioxide to your lungs so you can exhale it out.
- White blood cells fight infection as part of your immune system.
- Platelets help in blood clots when you are injured.
Now, you must be wondering how blood cancer occurs in the first place? So, let’s understand it.
What are the different types of blood cancer?
It is caused by the increase in the number of white blood cells in the body. It stops white blood cells from fighting against infections in your body. It can be either acute or chronic and affect the lymphocytes or other immune cells.
It is divided into four types based on the kind of white blood cell it affects.
Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL)
People with ALL make more lymphocytes and crowd out healthy white blood cells. ALL can advance quickly if not treated timely. Children ages 3 to 5 are most likely to get it and adults aged 75+ can also get ALL.
Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML)
It lowers the number of healthy blood cells in white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. This form of leukemia grows faster and affects mainly people over age 65. It’s more common in men than women.
Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL)
This is the most common type of leukemia in adults and like ALL, it starts from lymphocytes in bone marrow, but it grows slowly. It affects people in their 70s or older.
Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML)
This starts in myeloid cells, like AML. It is more common in men than women and usually affects adults.
It is a cancer of the lymphatic system, especially lymph nodes, and affects a specific type of white blood cell called lymphocytes. It is usually found in adults. It reports over half of all the diagnosed cases of blood cancer. There are two types of Lymphoma:
It starts in immune cells called B cells.
Non – Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
It starts in another type of immune cells called T cells. These are more common than Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
It is cancer that forms in a kind of white blood cell called a plasma cell. They are lymphocytes that make antibodies to protect against infections.
Myeloma affects your body’s immune system, leaving it prone to infection. This cancer is often called multiple myeloma because it is found in multiple parts of your bone marrow. Men over the age of 50 are most likely to get it.
Now that we know the types of blood cancers, you must also know the different stages of blood cancers that people have to face. So, let’s understand that now.
The stages of blood cancer are divided based on metastasis. Corresponding to the symptoms and rate of metastasis, the different stages of blood cancer are determined.
Stage 1: The first stage includes the enlargement of the lymph nodes. This happens due to the sudden increase in the number of lymphocytes. The risk at this stage is very low since it has not spread to other parts of the body.
Stage 2: During the second stage, the spleen, liver, and lymph nodes get enlarged. One of the organs gets affected for sure and the growth of lymphocytes is very high at this stage.
Stage 3: In this stage, anemia develops, and more than two organs get affected.
Stage 4: This is the last stage of blood cancer with a high-risk ratio. The rate of blood platelets starts dropping rapidly. The affected cells start damaging the lungs and other organs which were already affected in the earlier stages.
Now, let’s understand the symptoms of Blood Cancer.
Signs of Blood Cancer may vary in:
- The types of cells they affect.
- How fast they grow.
- How far do they spread into the body?
Though each type of blood cancer is different, they can contribute to some common symptoms and signs. Some people may not have any symptoms of blood cancer until the infection is developed. Or they may misunderstand symptoms for a severe cold or flu.
Some common Blood Cancer symptoms include:
- Coughing or chest pain
- Night sweats
- Fever or chills
- Persistent weakness and fatigue
- Shortness of breath
- Itchy skin or rash
- Loss of appetite or nausea
But wait, are you wondering how blood cancer occurs in the first place? Don’t worry, that’s what we are discussing next.
The causes of blood cancer are not well known. It is believed that blood cancers develop from a combination of hereditary and environmental factors. Smoking, radiation exposure, and chemical exposure such as benzene have all been linked to increased risk of some types of blood cancers.
Since the reason is not well known, it is always advisable to get the right awareness at the right time to avoid any delay in the treatment.
Now let’s understand the best blood cancer treatments available in India that will help you to make the right decision.
Treatment will depend on the type of Blood Cancer, age, how fast the cancer is developing, and whether cancer has spread to other parts of your body. Treatments for blood cancer have massively improved over the last few decades, several types of blood cancers are now highly treatable.
Common treatments include the following:
An Anticancer drug that is introduced to the body via injection into the vein or sometimes taken as a pill to kill and halt the production of cancer cells. This treatment is often carried for several months. It can be done on an outpatient or inpatient basis depending upon diagnosis of blood cancer. Doctors use chemotherapy to treat cancer and also relieve the symptoms such as shrinking tumors that can cause pain.
Depending on the stage and type of blood cancer, chemotherapy is either given through mouth or injection. Usually, the chemotherapy is given in cycles with a treatment period followed by rest that allows the body to recover and build strength. Doctors often use chemotherapy along with radiation therapy to treat blood cancer.
There are some side effects of chemotherapy depending upon the type of treatment that includes fatigue, nausea, and hair loss.
This type of treatment involves high-energy radiation to kill cancer cells. They may be given chemotherapy at times. They are given through injections or tablets into the vein. This treatment takes several days or months and blood cancer cells keep dying even after the therapy ends. The session will take 30 mins to 1 hour each with five days a week for 7-20 weeks usually, the patient needs 2-3 days break after 5 days to help restore the healthy cells.
There are two types of radiation therapy that include:
External radiation therapy
This therapy uses a machine to send streams of energy into the blood cancer cell through the skin. Before the process, the patient has to undergo a simulation that measures the angle at which radiation has to be done.
Only specific areas with cancer are open to radiation while the remaining part of the body like ovaries and testes are under the shield. Hence there is fewer chances of skin reactions in patients.
Internal radiation therapy
In this therapy, the source of radiation is inside the body and it can be a liquid or a solid. During this therapy, the patient’s blood count needs close supervision since he/she might need a blood transfusion. The treatment involves damaging the DNA in cancer cells.
There are some side effects of radiation therapy like Fatigue, skin problems, decrease in blood cell count, hair loss, dizziness, variation in blood pressure, and heartbeat. The most affected areas during the treatment include the heart, kidneys, chest, head, neck, and central nervous system.
This form of treatment involves drugs that kill malignant blood cells, without harming normal cells. A potential target for this therapy would be protein present in the cancer cells. It can involve different things like blocking the cancer cells to grow and divide, preventing the cells from living longer or destroying the cancer cells themselves.
There are several types of target therapy available but the most common ones are monoclonal antibodies and small-molecule drugs.
They block specific targets outside cancer cells that might be an area around cancer.
These drugs block the process that helps cancer cells to multiply. Angiogenesis inhibitors are an example of this type of therapy that makes new blood vessels. A tumor needs blood vessels to bring its nutrients and angiogenesis starves the tumor by preventing new blood vessels from forming tissue around it.
In this treatment, healthy bone marrow is infused into your body to produce healthy blood followed by therapy to destroy malignant blood cells. This bone marrow is very rich in stem cells which help in growing in all types of blood cells that including red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.
There are three types of bone marrow transplants for blood cancer:
1. Autologous Transplantation
It is a stage when stem cells are collected from a patient prior to chemotherapy treatment and re-introduced into the patient’s body after treatment. The high doses of chemotherapy kill the cancerous cells in the blood.
2. Allogeneic transplantation
It is a stage when a patient receives stem cells from a related or unrelated donor.
Depending on the relation of the donor and matching of tissue, Allogenic BMT is further classified into 3 types. They are;
a) Complete Matched Sibling Donor BMT: In this, the donor is most likely to be a brother or sister of the patient. These are often a complete match to patient’s tissue.
b) Haplo-identical BMT: It is a type of Allogenic BMT in which parents are usually a donor to the patient since they are a half match for their children. In cases, where a complete match is not found and the patients do not have any sibling, the expert surgeon considers parents to be a donor and perform Haplo-identical BMT.
c) Unrelated Donor BMT: In cases, where there is no sibling and parents are also not a match for the patient, then Un-related Donor BMT is the solution, in which donor who is unrelated to you is made available for the transplant from the Donor Match Registry.
3. Umbilical cord blood transplant
This is a type of allogeneic transplant. Right after birth, stem cells are extracted from a newborn baby’s umbilical cord. The stem cells are frozen and kept until a transplant is required. Because umbilical cord blood cells are so immature, perfect matching isn’t required. Blood counts take much longer to recover due to the lower number of stem cells.
Because most of the blood stem cells live in bone marrow, bone marrow transplants are also known as stem cell transplants in some countries. It involves harvesting bone marrow from a donor through a needle while the donor is under anesthesia.
This treatment activates the immune system to kill cancer cells. It can work directly with your body’s immune system to slow the growth of cancer cells or destroy the cancer cells. Immunotherapy treatment is carried out one or a few times a week for several weeks. In most cases, you will receive a shot of immunotherapy into a vein over the course of a few hours.
There are few side effects of having immunotherapy depending upon the agent used and also differ from person to person.
These treatments often can cause rashes or swelling at the injection area and may cause headaches, muscle aches, fever, and weakness.
There are different types of Immunotherapy that include:
These are proteins made by white blood cells to regulate the immune response and helps to slow the growth of cancer cells. There are two types of cytokines – interferon and interleukin.
In this approach, genetic materials are inserted into the cells to fight blood cancer using a viral vector.
These are the substances that affect the eBay cells interacting with each other to divide and grow.
These are lab-produced antibodies that bind to cancer cells and allow the immune system to kill the cancer cells in the blood and bone marrow.
When it comes to diagnosing and treating blood cancer, your doctor will most likely use a multidisciplinary approach.
The type of blood cancer you have, your age, how quickly the cancer is progressing, and whether cancer has spread to other parts of your body will all influence your treatment.
The following are some of the most common treatments which your doctor may combine two or more treatments depending upon your condition: Chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapies, bone marrow transplantation, surgery, and immunotherapy are some of the options for treating cancer.
Blood cancer treatment is an expensive process. To fight cancer, patients will need a lot of time and money.
The most effective cancer treatment is found in the USA, India, Singapore, and UK. However, not everyone can afford the treatment in developed countries.
The cost of treatment and surgery is nearly half when compared with the developed nation. Many international citizens have been enticed to seek treatment in India because of the availability of world-class treatment at a reasonable cost.
India’s healthcare system includes well-trained doctors and specialized, well-trained operative and post-operative care teams capable of handling complex cases at a reasonable cost.
So, if you’re looking for the best combination of results and affordability, India is the best option.
When choosing a hospital for your blood cancer treatment, you should look for a hospital that provides world-class healthcare services and has the facility for bone marrow transplantation. The reason is that a bone marrow transplant is the only permanent cure for blood cancer.
Battling cancer you may also require to consult different oncologists like medical, surgical, and radiation oncologists so choose a hospital where all the oncologists are available with a well-trained paramedical staff.
The success rate and survival rates of the onco team and the hospital should also be considered.
You may like to choose from the MedicoExperts Panel, which was created using the above criteria.
For choosing the best oncologist for treating blood cancer you have to consult different oncologists like a medical oncologist, surgical oncologist, and radiation oncologist. You must be considering their past experience and survival rates before undergoing the treatment.
The most recent and unique approach to treating cancer is a ‘Tumour Board’ approach which consists of a group of highly qualified cancer experts (medical, surgical, and radiation oncologists), who will present a comprehensive evaluation of your medical case and recommend the best treatment approach, which may include a combination of treatment protocols such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and/or surgery.
Tumour board reviews are a multidisciplinary approach to cancer treatment that enlists the assistance of doctors from various specialties to assess and treat patients’ medical conditions and diagnoses for the best possible outcomes.
With this tumor board approach to treating patients, MedicoExperts helps patients all over the world get the best treatment and survival rates.
The cost of blood cancer treatment in India comes with several major benefits. A team of expert oncologists and doctors with years of experience and the best of hospitals in India that are endowed with the latest innovation and cutting-edge technology are available to provide complete care.
The cost for cancer evaluation in India starts from 500 USD (37717 INR). In order to ensure a complete cure, a bone marrow transplantation will be recommended. The cost of a bone marrow transplant starts from 15000 USD (1131525 INR).
A combination of therapies is done to ensure better results. Chemotherapy costs range from 500 USD (37717 INR) to 1,000 USD(75435 INR) per cycle. The cost of radiation therapy is approximately USD 3500 (264022 INR) – USD 5500 (414892 INR).
However, the cost depends upon multiple factors including stage, treatment, protocol, age, and associated comorbidities. You should treat this cost as an indicative cost.
To know, what would be cost for you, you may like to get in touch with us and we can advise tentative cost and treatment plan.
The blood cancer survival rate in India has increased significantly over the past decade.
The rate of blood cancer survival rate in India depends completely on early detection, timely treatment of blood cancer.
The 5 year Blood cancer survival rate in India varies anywhere between 60-90% depending on the stage of cancer, Other comorbidities, age of the patient, and treatment protocol is chosen.
The blood cancer survival rates in India are more than 75% in patients who have undergone bone marrow transplants as a treatment for blood cancer.
Frequently Asked Questions and patient concerns:
1. Which part of the body can get affected by Cancer?
Cancer can occur in any part of the body, and they are usually painless and present as swellings or growths. They gradually enlarge and damage the surrounding tissue.
2. Is blood cancer curable in India?
Yes, blood cancer is curable in India.
3. Is Blood Cancer transmittable?
Cancer is a non-communicable disease that does not spread from one person to another. Certain cancers may have a hereditary cause which means a person is at higher risk of getting cancer if his/her family had specific cancer. These cancers are breast, ovarian, colorectal, and other common cancers.
4. How to prevent Blood Cancer?
Avoid exposure to radiation, chemicals such as pesticides or benzene. Avoid smoking or consuming tobacco in any form. Stay active and have a healthy diet that can help reduce the risk of developing any diseases.
5. How is Blood Cancer detected?
The Common Blood Count (CBC) test measures the amount of various blood cells in your blood. Blood cancer can be detected if too many blood cells or abnormal cells are found.
6. How does Cancer spread so fast?
Malignant tumors tend to grow faster than other tumors. Cancer grows as it invades the surrounding structures and causes damage. It spreads to the draining lymph nodes and through the bloodstream, it spreads to other parts of the body like the lung, liver, bones, brain, etc.
7. How is Cancer treated?
Cancer can be treated through surgery, drugs, and radiation. Treatment usually requires more than one type of treatment like surgery with radiation or drugs.
8. What are the factors on which Blood cancer treatment cost in India varies?
The cost depends upon multiple factors including stage, treatment, protocol, age, and associated comorbidities. For example, the cost of a Bone marrow transplant is way higher than chemotherapy cycles.
Moreover, your selection of Hospital and treating doctor is also one of the major differentiators of the cost.
9. Are blood cancers painful?
Blood cancers are usually painless, but they can ache for some people. If lumps or swellings exist deeper within your body and press on organs such as your lungs, you may experience pain, discomfort, or shortness of breath.
10. What happens if you have blood cancer?
Cancer cells can swell your lymph nodes, tonsils, liver, and spleen as they accumulate. You might notice lumps in your neck or armpits, or you might feel full after a small meal. You might be able to lose a lot of weight without even trying. Bone pain can be caused by cancer cells growing in your bone marrow.