Will be varied and can include blood tests, X rays, ECG (tracing of your heart), heart scan, different types of scans (CT, MRI, PET, Ultrasound), biopsies of any swellings or lumps or a bone marrow biopsy. You can read more about these on our radiology pages.
It can take a few days or up to a few weeks for test results to be ready. We know that waiting for results can be a worrying time so we will let you know when to expect results.
There are lots of different treatments for blood cancer and these will vary depending on your diagnosis.
Sometimes it may not be necessary to start treatment straight away and we will monitor you regularly to judge when the best time to start would be.
Blood Product Support
Your bone marrow may not be working properly or any treatment that you are having may cause you to become anaemic or have low platelets. You may need to attend the day unit for a blood or platelet transfusion. Blood tests would be taken in the community and depending on your results and how you feel, you may be asked to attend the Day Unit a day or so afterwards to receive this treatment. Some patients will attend regularly for blood or platelets and for others it may be a one off.
Systemic Anti-Cancer Therapy
This includes chemotherapy, immunotherapy and targeted treatments. These can be given into a vein, by injection or in tablet form. Some drugs will be given on their own but are frequently given in combination with others. Treatment is usually given in what we call cycles every few weeks for a determined amount of time or indefinitely. The drugs given and their frequency will depend on the type of cancer. The Doctor, nurses and pharmacy team will discuss the planned treatment with you and go over the possible side effects and what to do if they happen. You will be given written information about the medicines to take away with you. Treatment can be given in the Haematology/Oncology Day Unit, from clinic or in the Haematology Ward.
This is delivered at Edinburgh Cancer Centre at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh. This can be given over several days or weeks depending on your condition. Your treatment plan will be discussed with you by your doctor.
Best Supportive Care
Sometimes we do not think that Systemic Ant-Cancer Therapy or radiotherapy will help you.
Best Supportive Care focuses on quality of life and aims to help you live as well and as comfortable as possible, rather than curing the cancer. Best Supportive Care can:
- Help with symptoms such as breathlessness, pain, sickness or problems eating
- Help you and the people you care about come to terms with the diagnosis and what it means
- Help you talk about the future and plan ahead. This can be hard to do but can help you feel more prepared and in control
- Support you to manage at home
Best Supportive Care is usually provided by a combination of people, including: GPs and District Nurses, Cancer Specialist Nurses and Specialist Palliative Care.