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Blood cancer often strikes without symptoms; it is important to have regular blood tests / Article

It should be understood that blood cancer is not a single diagnosis, it is a group of diseases that includes more than 20 different illnesses, each of which has its own sub-variants, so it is impossible to name common symptoms for blood cancer, moreover, they will all be non-specific or universal.

“They will be such as fatigue, weight loss, sweating, skin itching, sometimes there are various diseases where the pain is more pronounced, including bone pain, therefore such common symptoms cannot be named for this group of diseases,” emphasized Bernāte.

“The other story is that I often see patients in my practice who have no symptoms at all,

who come to the doctor with random tests or tests done for other reasons, in which they find changes, but the patient himself has not recorded any changes in his health,” she said.

At the same time, the doctor emphasized that blood cancer is mostly a disease that can be seen in blood tests, which is why they should be performed regularly for preventive purposes.

“There are some diseases that can be recognized very easily, where in-depth, specific examinations or biopsies are not required, where no invasive manipulations are required to be able to reach a diagnosis. It can be determined simply by performing blood tests,” said Bernāte.

Hematology patient Ivanda Šūpulniece shared her experience that she is one of the cases where blood cancer was diagnosed accidentally.

“It happened in 2015. I went to the family doctor so that I could pass the sanitary book. I can only praise my family doctor, because she treats each patient very responsibly and with deep interest. I had not had a blood test for a long time, and she, of course, he helped to organize the sanitary book, but he also asked me to do blood tests. I did them, and literally the next day the family doctor’s nurse called with a question – how do you feel, when can you come? There is a high leukocyte count,” said Šūpulniece.

“My first reaction was complete disbelief in what I was being told, because I was fine, there was no reason for bad tests.

Of course, looking back now, knowing the symptoms, I can say that even then there were peculiar manifestations in my body that I did not pay attention to. It was the same itchy skin – the kind of spots that came and went, and the malaise that I put down to aging,” she explained.

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Blood transfusion is very important in the treatment of blood cancer, so a campaign organized by the State Blood Donor Center is currently underway to draw attention to blood donation for blood cancer patients. Donating blood is a way for loved ones and friends to support those who have faced blood cancer.

“As known, [asins vēža pacientiem] medical treatment, support, timely recognition of the disease are important, but

very important in the treatment process is the transfusion of blood components, which blood cancer patients need a lot and throughout the treatment process,” explained Pole.

“We see that the Latvian Oncology Center is, if you can say so, the biggest customer of these components, the most blood components go there, which directly saves the lives of blood cancer patients. We estimate that during the entire treatment process, one patient needs even more than 200 blood components doses. This is a very important support that each of us can give, to some extent free of charge, with a warm heart and a desire to help,” Pole called.

You can find out about the possibilities of donating blood on the VADC website.

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