Health For AllEveryone Can Take Action Against Blood Cancer

Everyone Can Take Action Against Blood Cancer

Hatem El Kadi, Pfizer MERA Regional Oncology Medical Lead.

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Oncologists categorize cancers as solid tumors or blood cancers.

Solid tumor cancers are cancers of any of the other body organs or tissues. Blood cancer, known as hematologic cancers, are cancers of the blood cells, and it is a fatal disease that is almost asymptomatic, or has symptoms that are nonspecific, which means that they can indicate various diseases.

Its less visible symptoms highlight the importance of regular medical checkups to ensure that any symptoms are identified early and appropriately, and action is taken early. They are also more common in children or the elderly, and surgery is not an option as the disease affects the blood. And, while no two blood cancers are alike – whether leukemia, lymphoma, or myeloma – treatments vary greatly.[1]

Solid Tumor Cancers Blood Cancers
Solid tumor cancers are cancers of any of the other body organs or tissues.Blood cancer, known as hematologic cancers,
are cancers of the blood cells, and it is a fatal disease that is
almost asymptomatic
Category of Cancer

In the Middle East and Africa region, it accounts for approximately 8% of all new cancer cases. In 2020 the number of new cases among women in the Middle East was more than 8.5 thousand[2]. This rate is higher in males: 10.4 thousand new cases of blood cancer were registered in 2020[3]. This can be a truly deadly disease: for example, in Morocco, the five-year survival rate for leukemia is only 25%.

With such a significant impact to public health, it’s important to understand its main signs. These include profuse night sweats, fever, bleeding gums, fatigue and weakness, decreased appetite, bruising and prolonged bleeding even after minor injuries, nausea and vomiting. All these symptoms are nonspecific, yet each of them is a signal to consult your healthcare provider and undergo all the appointed medical examinations. Blood cancer can also make you weaker and more vulnerable to other dangerous diseases as these cancerous cells can interfere with the work of healthy cells. It inhibits the healthy cells’ ability to perform their main tasks, such as fighting infections and aiding in the body’s repair processes[4].

The needs of patients with blood cancers are unique. That said, there are many ways to win the fight against blood cancer if we all act together. With collective action from everyone, we can pave the way for a bright future for blood cancer patients.

Early action against blood cancer can significantly increase survivability.

Blood cancer symptoms can be mistaken for signs of other diseases, which is why it’s important to be transparent and communicative with your doctor in case you detect early signs. This is emphasized by the fact that blood cancer is often diagnosed at its advanced stages, highlighting the importance of taking timely action.

Research consistently underscores the pivotal role that early intervention plays in shaping positive outcomes for patients living with blood cancer.[5] The intricate nature of blood cancers demands a nuanced and swift response from both medical professionals and the individuals at risk. Early diagnosis not only facilitates the implementation of targeted and effective treatment strategies but also opens the door to a broader array of therapeutic options. Timely diagnosis enables medical teams to tailor treatment plans to the specific characteristics of the cancer, optimizing the chances of success. It provides hope and increases survivability, allowing patients to confront the disease head on and foster a proactive mindset.

“To detect blood cancer early, people at high risk such as those with a family history of blood cancer or certain genetic mutations, should undergo routine screenings and assessment. “

Timely and appropriate diagnostic testing, such as blood tests, bone marrow biopsy, and imaging studies, should be performed if blood cancer is suspected.

Likewise, healthcare providers can stay updated with the latest evidence-based guidelines and recommendations for early detection of blood cancer and to maintain a high level of suspicion in at-risk patients, ensuring prompt diagnosis and early intervention.

Everyone has a part to do to act against blood cancer and improve patient outcomes.

Early detection is a key step in the hopeful battle against blood cancer, but there are numerous other ways everyone can contribute to the fight. Whether you’re a patient, a doctor, or simply a compassionate person, your voice plays a vital role in enhancing cancer treatment and positively impacting the lives of those facing this challenge.

The journey of blood cancer patients is marked not only by medical procedures but also by an emotional and mental landscape that requires our support, empathy, and kindness. Studies indicate that emotional and mental support contributes to reduced depression and anxiety in cancer patients, fostering improved psychological well-being and health throughout their journey[6].

Simple acts of kindness, such as offering to drive them to appointments or preparing a meal, wield significant power in making a positive impact on their lives.

Likewise, the health industry also has a responsibility to innovate treatments that answer to patient challenges. At Pfizer, we use our long-standing experience in the treatment of blood cancers. Our in-depth understanding of the science behind blood cancers and the leadership we have developed across our existing blood cancer medicines positions us for success as we strive to bring new breakthroughs for patients with multiple myeloma. As a scientific community, we are on the precipice of a new era for people living with blood cancers. As we continue to deepen our understanding of the science behind blood cancers, we will continue to innovate to develop effective treatments for people living with these diseases.

Each proactive step plays a crucial role in shaping a future where this disease is met with resilience and hope. By acting collectively, we can not only improve the lives of those currently facing this challenge but also contribute to a future where the impact of blood cancer is minimized, and the journey towards healing is marked by strength, solidarity, and triumph.

Hatem El-Kadi

Pfizer MERA Regional Oncology Medical Lead.

[1] Yale Medicine. Blood cancers; symptoms, diagnosis and treatment. Available at:

[2] Mahdi H, Mula-Hussain L, Ramzi ZS, et al. Cancer burden among Arab-world females in 2020: working toward improving outcomes. JCO Glob Oncol. 2022;8:e2100415.

[3] Mula-Hussain L, Mahdi H, Ramzi ZS, et al. Cancer burden among Arab world males in 2020: the need for a better approach to improve outcome. JCO Glob Oncol. 2022;8:e2100407.

[4] Blood Cancer UK. What is blood cancer. [Internet] [Cited on 2023 Jun 12] In%20blood%20cancer%2C%20abnormal%20blood,helping%20to%20repair%20your%20body    

[5] Yu C, Peng YY, Liu L, Wang X, Xiao Q. Leukemia can be Effectively Early Predicted in Routine Physical Examination with the Assistance of Machine Learning Models. J Healthc Eng. 2022 Nov 24;2022:8641194. doi: 10.1155/2022/8641194. PMID: 36465253; PMCID: PMC9715329.

[6] Ruiz-Rodríguez I, Hombrados-Mendieta I, Melguizo-Garín A, Martos-Méndez MJ. The Importance of Social Support, Optimism and Resilience on the Quality of Life of Cancer Patients. Front Psychol. 2022 Mar 9;13:833176. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2022.833176. PMID: 35356348; PMCID: PMC8959607.

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