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‘Blood Cancers not Deadliest’

Times of India
19 February 2011
Ahmedabad, India

‘Blood Cancers not Deadliest’
A seminar on blood cancer and stem cell transplant was organised by Ahmedabad Times and Apollo Hospitals on Friday at the GLS auditorium. The aim was to raise awareness on blood cancer, its underlying causes and treatment.

Dr Chirag Shah, director of the department of stem cell transplant, hematology and oncology at Apollo Hospitals said that blood cancer patients and their families can face a range of practical and social issues as they are forced to change their lifestyle because of the disease and its treatment.

"Blood cancer or leukemia is the most dreaded cancer today. Though it can strike at any age, cure rates are better in children if treated on time. Children suffering from Hodgkin’s lymphoma have a cure rate of 80% while for non–Hodgkin’s lymphoma the cure rate is 60–70%", Shah said.

Shah rubbished the misnomer that blood cancers are the deadliest cancers. In fact, blood cancers have a greater cure rate in comparison with head, neck cancer or lung cancer.

"If the cure rate of head and neck cancer is 10–20% if diagnosed in third and fourth stage, the success is higher in blood cancers which have 50–70% cure rate", said Shah.

Shah stressed on the importance of increased awareness so that blood cancer could be diagnosed early and cured with chemotherapy, non–chemotheray medicines and when required through stem cell transplant or bone marrow transplant as required.

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