Caring for people with hematologic cancer involves helping them deal with the effects of the cancer or its therapy. The exact nature of care will depend on the type of cancer, how much the cancer has spread, and the therapy that the individual has received. However, the need for emotional and social support should be anticipated for most people with hematologic cancer. They may experience a number of problems that can affect their ability to function on a daily basis, including feelings of depression, lack of adequate transportation to medical appointments and other places, and lack of adequate knowledge about their cancer and its treatment. You should provide whatever support is necessary, and enlist others, such as family members, friends, and support groups to help as needed. You should also be aware of the possibility that the person may become weak or tired and bruise or bleed easily, so should encourage appropriate activities to conserve energy and avoid trauma. You should also help the individual with hematologic cancer avoid contact with people who have an infection and are potentially contagious.
Eric C. Santos, MD
Specialty: Hematology & Oncology
- Hematology & Oncology
- Internal Medicine
Location and Office HoursRadiation Oncology Centers PC
145 Michigan St NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
- Mercy Health Saint Mary's
- Spectrum Health Blodgett Hospital
- Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital
- What do I need to know about caring for someone with hematologic cancer?
Are hematologic cancers serious?
Hematologic cancers are very serious. They are malignant tumors that are potentially lethal without treatment. Hematologic cancers are currently responsible for approximately 9.5 percent of cancer deaths in the United States. Approximately one person dies from a hematologic cancer every 10 minutes. It is estimated that approximately 53,240 people died from hematologic cancers in 2009 in the United States. Leukemia is the number one cause of death due to cancer in children and teenagers. Fortunately, the death rate attributed to hematologic cancers has decreased in recent years. This may be because of earlier diagnosis, more effective treatment, or both.Helpful? 1 person found this helpful.
What is tumor lysis syndrome?
Tumor lysis syndrome is a condition caused by the destruction of a large number of tumor cells and the release of their contents into the bloodstream. It occurs most commonly when potent chemotherapy is used for hematologic cancers, especially acute leukemias and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. It causes high levels of potassium, uric acid, and phosphate, and low levels of calcium in the blood. The abnormal potassium and calcium levels can cause seizures and changes in heart rhythm, which may lead to cardiac arrest. Kidney impairment or even failure can occur because of uric acid crystals or calcium-phosphate stones collecting in the kidneys. Tumor lysis syndrome is a very serious condition that requires prompt and appropriate treatment by a doctor.
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