There have been significant advances in blood cancer treatment with additional promising therapies on the way. Your doctor can help you choose a treatment plan that’s right for you.
AT THIS STAGE, YOU CAN
- Manage your blood cancer with a wait-and-watch approach if advised by your doctor
- Become informed about what each treatment involves, its risks and benefits
- Find out what side effects and physical changes you can expect from treatment
- Lean on family and friends for your everyday needs
- Take care of yourself and optimize your eating habits if possible
- Join a patient support group or find services that can support you at this stage
HERE’S HOW YOU CAN LEARN MORE
Prior to Treatment
IT’S IMPORTANT TO EDUCATE YOURSELF ON AVAILABLE TREATMENT OPTIONS
- Understanding Different Types of Treatment
- Drug Therapy: The goal of drug therapy is to eliminate cancer cells and restore normal cells in your body. More than 50 drugs of different types are now being used singularly or in combination to treat blood cancers.
- Information on treatment for specific blood cancer type
- Watch and Wait: This involves monitoring your condition without giving any treatment until symptoms appear or change. It is usually recommended for patients in early stages of slow-growing or chronic forms of blood cancers. How to deal with anxiety of NO treatment
- Radiation Therapy: When radiotherapy is used for blood cancer treatment, it's usually part of a treatment plan that includes drug therapy. Radiotherapy can also be used to relieve your pain or discomfort caused by an enlarged liver, lymph nodes or spleen.
- Immunotherapy: Immunotherapy, also called biological therapy, uses your own immune system to fight cancer. It generally results in fewer short-term side effects.
- Blood or Marrow Transplant: This procedure replaces your unhealthy blood-forming cells with healthy cells. Stem cell transplantation allows doctors to give large doses of chemotherapy or radiation therapy to increase the chance of eliminating blood cancer in the marrow and then restoring normal blood cell production.
- Cord Blood Transplant: Umbilical cord blood, like bone marrow and peripheral blood, is a rich source of stem cells for transplantation. There may be advantages for certain patients to have cord blood stem cell transplants instead of transplants with marrow or peripheral blood stem cells.
- Complementary and Alternative Therapies: Some complementary therapies, especially natural health products can interfere with standard cancer treatments. Your doctor can help you choose options that are safe and effective.
- Vaccine Therapy
- Clinical Trials: These are carefully controlled research studies conducted by doctors to improve the care and treatment of patients. Treatments proven safe and effective in clinical trials are usually approved by Health Canada for use as a standard treatment.
- Making Treatment Decisions
- Your Treatment Team and What to Ask About Your Treatment
- Communicating with Your Specialist
- Lab and Imaging Tests
- Managing Side Effects
- Anxiety and Depression
- Cancer-Related Fatigue
- Chemo Brain
- Dental Issues
- Digestive Disorders
- Hair Loss
- Heart, Kidneys, Liver and Lung Function
- Iron Overload
- Low Blood Counts
- Mouth and Throat Sores
- Peripheral Neuropathy
- Skin and Nails
- Sleep Disturbances
- Integrative Medicine and Complementary and Alternative Therapies
- Food and Nutrition
- Stem Cell Transplantation