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Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is a widely used treatment for cancer. The term chemotherapy refers to the drugs that prevent cancer cells from dividing and growing. It does this by killing the dividing cells. The effectiveness depends to some extent on the stage of the cancer being treated. Adverse effects can be severe, and patients may need to discuss with their physician what to expect. The benefits of chemotherapy usually outweigh the risk of adverse effects.

Transplantations

A bone marrow transplant, also called a stem cell transplant, is a treatment for some types of cancer. For example, you might have one if you have leukemia, multiple myeloma, or some types of lymphoma. Doctors also treat some blood diseases with stem cell transplants.In the past, a stem cell transplant was more commonly called a bone marrow transplant because the stem cells were collected from the bone marrow. Today, stem cells are usually collected from the blood, instead of the bone marrow. For this reason, they are now often called stem cell transplants.

Informed Consents

When you go for medical care, you usually talk with the doctor to get his or her recommendations about the next step in your treatment. Most people follow these recommendations, but they are not required to do that. In cases where there are larger possible risks, you may be asked to agree in writing to the doctors’ plan for your care. This is informed consent. It recognizes your need to know about a procedure,
surgery, or treatment, before you decide whether or not to have it.

Disease Types

Red blood cells carry haemoglobin, an iron-rich protein that attaches to oxygen in the lungs and carries it to tissues throughout the body. Anemia occurs when you do not have enough red blood cells or when your red blood cells do not function properly. It is diagnosed when a blood test shows a haemoglobin value of less than 13.5 gm/dl in a man or less than 12.0 gm/dl in a woman. Normal values for children vary with age.

When you have anemia, your body lacks oxygen, so you may experience one or more of the following symptoms

  • Weakness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Pounding or “whooshing” in your ears
  • Headache
  • Cold hands or feet
  • Pale or yellow skin
  • Chest pain

Acute leukaemia’s occur when abnormal white blood cells multiply rapidly and spill into the blood stream. Left untreated, these leukaemia cells crowd out the healthy cells, leaving the body starved of oxygen, with little immunity to fight disease or infection and unable to “plug” wounds in the skin and blood vessels.  Acute leukaemia’s develop quickly and need to be treated urgently. Chronic leukaemia’s develop more slowly and may not need to be treated for some time after they are diagnosed. Chronic Leukaemia’s occur when abnormal white blood cells fail to die and accumulate in the blood stream, bone marrow and related organs. Myeloid leukaemia’s arise from myeloid stem cells and are characterised by the accumulation of cancerous myeloid cells. Lymphoid leukaemia’s arise from lymphoid stem cells and are characterised by the accumulation of cancerous lymphoid cells such as B-cells and T-cells.

Hodgkin Lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system. The Lymphatic system contains specialised white blood cells called Lymphocytes that help protect the body from infection and disease. Hodgkin Lymphoma arises when developing lymphocytes undergo a malignant change and multiply in an uncontrolled way, these collection of cancer cells are called tumours in lymph nodes and other parts of the body. The most common symptom of Hodgkin lymphoma is a firm, usually painless swelling of a lymph node (swollen glands), usually in the neck, under the arms or in the groin. Treatment depends mainly on the stage, or extent of disease in your body. These days most people with Hodgkin Lymphoma can be cured. Early-stage Hodgkin Lymphoma, which is limited to one or two areas in the body is often treated with a combination of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. If it is more widespread in the body (advanced stage) it is usually treated with chemotherapy.

B and T-cell lymphomas are cancers of the lymphatic system. Lymphomas arise when developing B and T-lymphocytes undergo a malignant change and multiply in an uncontrolled way. Most lymphomas (around 80%) arise in developing B-lymphocytes (B-cell lymphomas). The remainder arise in developing T-lymphocytes (T-cell lymphomas). The exact cause of lymphomas remains unknown, but they are thought to result from damage to one or more of the genes that normally control the development of blood cells. B and T-cell Lymphomas are diagnosed by examining cells from an affected lymph node.

Myeloma, also known as multiple myeloma, is a cancer of plasma cells. Plasma cells are mature lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell, that help fight infection by producing special proteins called antibodies. Myeloma cells multiply abnormally, forming collections known as tumours which accumulate in different bones in the body, especially in the bone marrow. Over time people with myeloma can become anaemic, more susceptible to infections and to bleeding and bruising more easily. The most common symptom of myeloma is bone pain. Other symptoms are caused by a lack of normal blood cells and include; anaemia, frequent or repeated infections and slow healing, due to lack of normal white blood cells.Although there is currently no cure for myeloma, treatment can be successful in controlling the disease, sometimes for several years. Chemotherapy, usually in combination with cortico-steroids, may be given to control the growth of myeloma.

One’s bone marrow is the soft tissue inside the bones that makes blood-forming cells known as blood stem cells.  When a disease such as cancer affects the bone marrow, the bone marrow may not function, requiring a marrow or cord blood transplant in some patients. Thousands of people with blood cancers and diseases – such as leukemia, lymphoma, and sickle cell anemia – depend on a bone marrow or cord blood transplant for treatment.

Sometimes the bone-marrow stops working due to immune system problems. This is called Aplastic Anaemia and may require an urgent bone-marrow transplant.



Welcome To Dr Jackie Thomson Inc

Expert Clinical Heamatologist

Dr Jackie is a clinical haematologist who’s main area of interest is the treatment of blood disorders/malignancies.

She is an expert in bone-marrow transplantation and stem cell transplantation. She is the first Transplant Program Director

to be recognized by the European Bone Marrow Transplant Society by obtaining JACIE accreditation.

She is passionate about improving patient outcome and does so by following best practise and implementing quality systems of International standard. 

Her patients come first and she believes in a patient doctor partnership which leads to individualised care. 

 

New Frontiers in Cancer Treatment

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