Blood transfusions - lifeline for leukaemia patients

2015-10-21 06:00

AN increased awareness of cancer is promoted during October to make South Africans aware of the extent of the disease. It is estimated that about one in six men and one in six women will develop cancer during their lifetime.

Cancers of the blood - including a variety of leukaemia - are common and feature as the main type of cancer among South African children up to the age of 19. Most of these patients will need a blood transfusion as part of their treatment, so the South African National Blood Service is urging the nation to keep in mind the importance of having a sufficient supply of safe blood.

In leukaemia, cancerous cells are found throughout the body, in the blood or in bone marrow. There is no tumour or growth, making it sometimes difficult to detect and diagnose. It attacks the bodyand#039;s blood supply and interferes with normal production of blood cells - red, white and plasma cells - insufficient in red blood cells and develop anaemia, or have too few of other kinds of blood cells. These developments make patients feel tired, breathless or be more prone to infections.

Blood transfusion is a lifeline as the fresh blood invigorates and energises the patient allowing them to maintain the hope of defeating the cancer. Blood donors and would-be donors are urged to make sure they donate blood regularly to help save lives.

- Meropa Communications on behalf of SANBS.

Most patients will need a blood transfusion as part of their treatment so SANBS reminds people about the importance of having a sufficient supply of safe blood for them

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