Blood cancer is also known as leukemia which starts forming in the bone marrow of the body. Leukemia generally begins to develop when a major issue occurs during the manufacturing process of blood cells. This abnormal creation of blood cells alters the DNA of the white blood cells thereby causing damage to it. The bone marrow in the body becomes a hotbed for excessive cell division and multiplication. This entire exercise leads to the degeneration of good blood cells, and at the same time gives rise to growth and multiplication of anomalous cells.
A time comes when the bone marrow gets filled with anomalous cells which render the white blood cells to become ineffective. White blood cells are responsible for immunity in our bodies. When they become powerless to produce antibodies due to excessive anomalous cells, our body defense system gets destroyed.
Treatment of Leukemia- Bone Marrow Transplant
Bone marrow is present inside the bones in the form of delicate tissues which is responsible for manufacturing stem cells that produce blood. Bone marrow is the epicenter where all the actions of white cells, platelets, and red cells take place. When there is an incessant formation of anomalous cells in the bone marrow, it exceeds the number of good blood cells responsible for immunity and fighting diseases and makes them unproductive.
Hence in the case of leukemia, the first aim of the doctors remains to change the stem cells of the bone marrow. This process is commonly known as a bone marrow transplant. New stem cells will help in manufacturing healthy and strong cells which can mitigate the effect of the anomalous cells.
How does Bone Marrow Transplant work?
There are a few types of bone marrow transplantation that are advised by the doctors as a mode of treatment to fight leukemia.
Here is a step by step process which is generally followed by the doctors during the treatment of blood cancer:
In this process, the damaged, anomalous cells in the bone marrow are destroyed. Earlier this process used to happen by using radiation thereby burning the bad cells. Now there are many methods where anomalous cells can be destroyed without using radiation like injecting chemicals, etc.
- Injection of Fresh Blood
In this process, the patient is injected with fresh blood through pipes and tubes into the body. The aim is to replenish the body with good and robust blood cells that can help in the formation of new blood cells. Injecting fresh blood can aid the bone marrow in manufacturing new white blood cells which can help in forming antibodies against the anomalous cells.
- Bone Marrow Transplant
The bone marrow transplant can be done in 3 possible ways- Allo, Auto, and Haploidebtical.
Sometimes donor blood may be required to do the job of producing new cells in the patient’s body. The catch is, every individual has a separate blood type consisting of a different set of proteins. In the case of using Allo method as a way of transplantation, the blood cancer patient needs to find a donor with whom the patient’s bone marrow type will match. After finding a perfect match, the doctor replaces the impacted bone marrow with the healthier, donated one.
The doctors also utilize the patient’s blood cells to replenish the patient’s bone marrow with healthy blood. This is the Auto method of blood cancer bone marrow transplant. In this case, the good blood cells are extracted and kept through cryopreservation. After the successful completion of the radiation process, the good, extracted blood cells are placed into the patient’s bloodstream through tubes.
The aim of this article is to give an overview of blood cancer and also to showcase bone marrow transplantation as its possible way of treatment.
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