Blood Cancer – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
July 17, 2020
Blood Cancer is cancer of the white blood cells. Blood is a fluid tissue that circulates throughout the body, nourishing every cell with nutrition, and oxygen it carries in its red blood cells (RBC). In addition to RBC, blood also has white blood cells (WBC) and platelets in liquid plasma.
WBCs are the soldiers of your body. They fight against bacteria, viruses, fungus, abnormal cells and foreign substances in the body. They are produced in the bone marrow, lymph nodes, spleen and thymus gland and circulate in the body. They are present in large concentrations in the lymph nodes and the spleen.
When WBCs become cancerous, they either divide too fast and crowd out other cells or divide too slowly. They do not function as normal WBCs do.
Types of Blood Cancer
Leukaemia is classified based on the type of cells involved and the nature of the disease. It is broadly classified into:
- Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (sudden onset and quick progression) – is the most common type of leukaemia seen in children
- Acute myeloid leukaemia (sudden onset and quick progression)
- Chronic myeloid leukaemia (gradual onset and slow progression)
- Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (gradual onset and slow progression)
2. Aplastic anaemia
3. Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinaemia
5. Myeloproliferative neoplasms
Symptoms of Blood Cancer
- Fever/ chills
- Frequent infections
- Bone pain/ tenderness
- Painless swollen lymph nodes in the neck and armpits
- Bleeding and bruising easily
- Fatigue/ weakness that does not improve even after adequate rest
- Weight loss
- Excessive sweating, especially night sweats
- When blood cancer affects organs, you may have other organ-specific symptoms such as
- Headaches, nausea, vomiting, confusion, movement problems, seizures etc. if the brain and spinal cord are involved.
- Cough, fever, breathing problems, lung infections etc. if lungs are involved.
- Swelling and pain in the abdomen if the liver and spleen are enlarged.
- Pain in the sides, frothy urine etc. if kidneys are involved.
Causes of Blood Cancer
- Family history of blood cancer
- Genetic disorders
- Blood disorders
- Exposure to radiation, chemotherapy
- Exposure to benzene
- Certain infections
- Weak immune system
Diagnosis of Blood Cancer:
- A complete physical examination by your doctor
- A complete blood test to determine the number of RBCs, WBCs and platelets in your blood
- A microscopic examination of your blood to determine if there are any abnormalities
- Biopsies of the bone marrow and lymph nodes to determine the type of blood cancer
- Certain genetic tests to determine if you belong to the low risk and high-risk categories.
- Your treatment programme will depend on the type of blood cancer, age, white cell count at diagnosis and the genetic tests.
Blood Cancer Treatment at Rela
Dr Rela Institute& Medical Centre is a multispecialty hospital, that offers one of the best oncology/ cancer treatment programmes in Chennai. Our renowned team of oncologists, world-class infrastructure and advanced technology combine to provide 360o cancer care from accurate diagnosis and staging to palliative care for terminal ill patients.
Our Specialised Departments
- Clinical Haemato Oncology
- Gastrointestinal Oncology
- Gynaecologic Oncology
- Medical Oncology
- Paediatric Haematology & Oncology
- Radiation Oncology
- Surgical Oncology
Treatment for Blood Cancer
- Chemotherapy – A combination of drugs used to kill cancer cells
- Radiation therapy – High energy radiation is used to damage leukaemia cells
- Hematopoietic Stem cell transplantation – Diseased bone marrow is replaced with healthy bone marrow, (from HLA matched donor)
- Biological/ immune therapy – To help your immune system recognize and destroy cancer cells
- Targeted therapy – Drugs used to target the specific weaknesses of cancer cells
As with all cancers, the outlook after treatment for blood cancer depends on early diagnosis and treatment.
If you have any of the symptoms, contact us at 044 6666 7777
People Also Ask:
What are the treatments available for blood cancer?
Your treatment plan will be based on the diagnosis and risk assessment. It involves the administration of chemotherapy (medicines to kill cancer cells). The type of chemotherapy drugs and duration of treatment depends on the type of leukaemia and whether it belongs to the low or high-risk category.
How is blood cancer diagnosed?
If you have symptoms of blood cancer you will require a series of diagnostic tests to determine the type of blood cancer and its stage.
What is the first stage of blood cancer?
The first stage of blood cancer is the amplification of the lymph hubs. This happens due to the unexpected expansion in the number of lymphocytes. The gamble at this stage is exceptionally low as the malignant growth isn’t yet spread or impacted some other actual organ.
How does lymphoma happen?
This happens when the DNA inside a lymphocyte changes such that advises it to quit answering the signs that generally monitor it.