Blood Cancer

Description

Blood cancers affect blood cells and bone marrow the spongy tissue inside your bones where blood cells are made. These cancers change the way blood cells behave and how well they work. Blood cancer is a broader term related to cancers that directly attack the blood, bone marrow and lymphatic system.

     There are three blood cancer types namely leukemia, which happens due to uncontrolled production of abnormal white blood cells. Blood cancer represents a large group of malignancies. This group includes accumulation of cancerous cells in bone marrow, blood and lymphatic system. The symptoms of blood cancer include Breathlessness, skin changes, weight loss, swollen lymph glands etc.

     Apart from the lymphatic system and blood, the focus of the attack can be on the bone marrow as well. Based on blood cancer types, stages and blood cancer symptoms, blood cancer treatment is undertaken. The rapidly multiplying cancerous cells are found attacking the different aspects of the circulatory system. Besides blood and the lymphatic system; the bone marrow can also be the focus of attack.

Types of Blood Cancers:

Primarily there are three types of blood cancer.

Leukemia: Leukemia affects the white blood cells. With spurt in the multiplicity of cancerous cells affecting either the marrow or the blood; it is supposed to be triggered by weakened immune system, age and also due to some other blood diseases. The ability of the circulatory system to produce blood is severely impaired with. Leukemia is divided into four types based on the kind of white blood cell it affects and whether it grows quickly (acute) or slowly (chronic)

Symptoms of leukemia:

  • Leukemia is marked by an acute destruction of health .The major symptoms include anaemia, extreme fatigue, and general weakness.
  • Vulnerability to infection and swelling of the lymph nodes are some of the other fallouts of Leukemia.
  • Also, one affected by it is likely to sweat excessively and come under bouts of breath shortness in the course of performing day to day functions.
  • On the other hand, in leukemia of the acute type, the symptoms are likely to manifest with rapid intensity.

Lymphoma: The cancerous formation affecting the lymphocytes is referred to as the lymphoma. Lymphocytes are a type of white blood corpuscles (WBC).The cancerous cells directly to affect the lymphocytes lead to Lymphoma. Lymphocytes are one of the varieties of white blood corpuscles. . The vessels store and carry white blood cells to help your body fight infections. Lymphoma id divided into Two types.

Symptoms of Lymphoma

  • One of the most common symptoms of lymphoma includes swollen lymphatic node because this cancer essentially revolves around the lymphatic cells
  • Coughing
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Fullness of abdomen
  • Itching
  • Nausea and food aversion may also set in.
  • Some of the other indications include loss of weight and appetite, fever, sudden bouts of chill and night sweating.                        

Myeloma: As part of Myeloma, the plasma (another variety of WBC) is affected by the cancerous formation. The cancerous formation affects the plasma. The most common form is multiple myelomas. Myeloma cells spread through the bone marrow. They can damage your bones and crowd out healthy blood cells. This cancer is often called multiple myeloma because it’s found in many parts of your bone marrow

Symptoms of Myeloma:

  • generic feel of fatigue
  • painful back
  • Kidney problems
  • susceptibility to infection
  • Breath shortness
  • Bouts of numbness and that of chest pain
  • Chest pain
  • Occurrence of kidney problems can develop because of myeloma

Stages of Blood Cancer:

This cancer is often called multiple myeloma because it’s found in many parts of your bone marrow.

  • Stage1: The first phase is marked by an enlarged presence of lymph nodes. This happens owing to the spurt in the count of lymphocytes. This cancer is often called multiple myeloma because it’s found in many parts of your bone marrow.
  • Stage2: The second stage is marked by the enlarged presence of spleen as well as liver; in addition to that of the lymph nodes. This cancer is often called multiple myeloma because it’s found in many parts of your bone marrow.
  • Stage3: The third stage is marked by the development of anemia. The aforementioned organs are still likely to remain swollen. This cancer is often called multiple myeloma because it’s found in many parts of your bone marrow.
  • Stage4: The fourth and last phase is marked by a drastic fall in the rate of blood platelets. In the last stage, the cancerous development can also affect lungs besides the ones already affected. This cancer is often called multiple myeloma because it’s found in many parts of your bone marrow.

Symptoms of Blood Cancer:

  • Heavy breathlessness
  • Persistent fatigue, weakness
  • Frequent infections
  • Loss of appetite, nausea
  • Abnormal bleeding from cuts and gums
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Massive blood flows in women during period
  • Night sweats
  • Pain in bones/joints/ribs/back
  • Headaches
  • Skin changes (Itchiness)
  • Frequent infections
  • Abdominal discomfort and swollen stomach
  • Swollen lymph glands
  • Shortness of breath
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • A heavy headache and vision problem
  • Itchy skin or skin rash
  • Frequent weight loss
  • Difficulty while urination
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck, underarms, groin
  • The occurrence of fine rashes or dark spots throughout the body.
  • Fever, chills
  • The occurrence of sudden bouts of chill and night sweating.

Causes for Blood Cancer:

There are various causes of blood cancer. Some of them are:

  • A weakened immune system
  • High doses of radiation
  • Contact with a harmful chemical called Benzene, used in petrol and the solvent is used in the rubber and plastic industry.
  • Genetic disorders; like – Franconia anemia, Schwachman- diamond syndrome and down syndrome
  • Carcinogenic chemicals and exposure to radiation.
  • Smoking
  • HIV Infection
  • Increase in age
Treatment:
The primary objective of blood cancer treatment is the complete eradication of cancer.Other than chemo and radiotherapy, the conventional modes of treatment for blood cancer are to attempt stem cells and bone marrow transplantations. A highly specialized team comprising of Hematoma-oncologists & radiation oncologists provide state-of-the-art treatment for a variety of cancers like lymphomas, leukemia and multiple myelomas.
Therefore taking proper preventive measures are of utmost importance. Some of them are:
  • Taking balanced diet and regular exercise for a healthy lifestyle
  • Avoiding processed meat/fish items
  • Lowered consumption of Trans or saturated fats
  • Regular exposure to fresh air is necessary
  • Stay away from herbicides and chemicals

 

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