Blood Cancer Treatment in the UK

Introduction: What is Blood Cancer?

When blood cells turn rogue and begin growing and multiplying uncontrollably, they give rise to blood cancer. Depending upon the cells affected, blood cancers fall under three groups– 

  • Leukaemia

People with leukaemia have an excessive number of abnormal white blood cells. However, some people with leukaemia may have low white blood cell count.

There are four types of leukaemia based on the type of blood cell that turns cancerous and whether the leukaemia proliferated (acute) or slowly (chronic):

  • Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML)
  • Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL)
  • Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) 
  • Chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML)
  • Lymphoma

Lymphocytes are a type of white blood cell. When lymphocytes begin growing uncontrollably, they may form a lump or tumour. This cancer is called lymphoma, and its formation is more likely to occur in lymph nodes. However, lymphoma can occur in other organs of the body. There are two types of lymphomas:

  • Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Myeloma

When plasma cells, a type of white blood cell, turn cancerous, it results in myeloma. The plasma cells are integral to the immune system and produce antibodies that help the body fight common pathogens like bacteria and viruses.

How Is Blood Cancer Treated?

There are several treatment options for blood cancer. The most suitable treatment option for your blood cancer will be determined by your doctor and multidisciplinary healthcare team based on factors like:

  • Type of blood cancer
  • It stage and grade 
  • Your signs and symptoms
  • Overall health and fitness

While most people with blood cancer require immediate treatment, few people can wait. Infact, in people with slow-growing blood cancers that are not causing symptoms, doctors may recommend a wait-and-watch method.

During this time, the doctor will monitor the individual during regular checkups and blood tests. However, they may not need treatment immediately.

The standard treatment options available for blood cancer are:

This is a mainstay of cancer treatment and uses potent drugs to kill cancer cells. For blood cancer treatment, chemotherapy is usually given intravenously, during which the anticancer drug is injected into a vein in the arm. Your doctor will inform you about the number of cycles you must undergo. There is always a rest period between two chemotherapy cycles.

Chemotherapy is usually performed as an outpatient procedure, and you can go home after your session. In some people, chemotherapy may be given orally in the form of tablets or when the treatment is long-term. Though chemotherapy effectively kills cancer cells, the drugs also damage healthy cells, resulting in side effects.

Discuss with your doctor the possible side effects you may experience during your chemotherapy treatment.

  • Stem cell transplant

Stem cell transplants are routinely performed as part of blood cancer treatment. During this treatment, faulty stem cells are replaced by healthy ones from other parts of the individual’s body or taken from another individual.

Blood cells start as stem cells in the bone marrow. When these blood cells become cancerous, replacing these stem cells with healthy ones can treat the condition. Before a stem cell transplant is performed, chemotherapy is given to kill the existing stem cells.

Depending upon the source of the cells, stem cell transplant can be of two types:

  • Autologous: When the stem cells are collected from the individual’s body, stored and given, it is called an autologous stem cell transplant or an autograft.
  • Allogenic: When the stem cells used for transplant are collected from a donor, it is called an allogeneic transplant or an allograft.

During a stem cell transplant, the cells are injected into a vein, similar to a blood transfusion.

  • Radiation therapy

This treatment uses high-energy x-rays or other particles to destroy cancer cells. Radiation therapy may be used to relieve symptoms like pain and discomfort in people with blood cancer.

Other treatments that may be used in blood cancer treatment in the UK are immunotherapy and targeted drug therapy.

How Can Klarity Oncology Help?

Blood cancers may require urgent attention and care, and we understand the urgency. At Klarity Oncology, we aim to make cancer care more accessible, affordable and easy. Our cancer care team understands your needs, listens to your hopes and supports you throughout your journey. From helping you get priority appointments with top oncologists near you to helping you get a second opinion on your diagnosis and treatment plan with the top blood cancer specialists in the UK, we are here for you!

Blood Cancer Treatment Cost in the UK

The cost of blood cancer treatment in the UK largely depends upon the type and stage of your cancer and the type of facility you choose for your treatment. The cost of your treatment will also vary depending on your treatment progression. 

If you have been diagnosed with blood cancer, your doctor will give you an estimate of the treatment cost before beginning any procedure. It is highly recommended that you check with your insurance provider and understand what is covered and what isn’t. 

How is Blood Cancer Treatment Cost Calculated?

The cost of blood cancer treatment in the UK is usually a cumulative cost of all the possible tests, procedures and medications you may need during and after your treatment.

Your treatment cost will be calculated based on the following factors:

  • Type of blood cancer
  • Stage and grade
  • Extent of spread
  • Travelling costs
  • Cost of chemotherapy cycles 
  • Stem cell transplant costs
  • Medications
  • Monitoring and other diagnostic tests
  • Long-term treatment options

If you have any queries regarding your treatment costs, feel free to discuss them same with your doctor and healthcare team. 

Talk to Us

Feeling confused or anxious about your blood cancer diagnosis? Reach out to us for a second opinion. Call us today!

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You should see your GP directly