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. We will talk to you about symptom control and the best way to support you and your family. This is often called ‘best supportive care’. We often ask the palliative care team to meet with you in hospital or at home as they can help give advice on symptom management. We work closely with your GP and district nurses and together we can help to keep you in your own home as much as possible, rather than spending time in hospital.