Blood cancer is a disease in which blood-forming tissues grow uncontrollably. Blood cancer interferes with the production and function of blood cells. The majority of blood cancers begin in the bone marrow and lymphatic system.
Our bone marrow produces blood components like white blood cells (WBCs), red blood cells (RBCs), and platelets. The normal process of blood cell formation is disrupted in blood cancer, and abnormal blood cells begin to grow uncontrollably. These abnormal cancerous cells disrupt normal cell functions and cause a variety of diseases.
The three main types of blood cancers are as follows:
Leukemia is the most common type of blood cancer and occurs when abnormal white blood cells begin to proliferate. Leukemia disrupts the normal function of white blood cells, such as their ability to fight infection. It also has an impact on the power of bone marrow to produce red blood cells and platelets.
Myeloma: This cancer occurs when plasma cells in the blood begin to grow abnormally.
Myeloma interferes with the production of antibodies in your body, weakening your immune system.
Lymphoma is a type of blood cancer that affects the lymphatic system and impairs our immune system. immune system.
What are the early signs and symptoms of blood cancer?
Blood cancer affects one of our bodies’ most vital components. As blood circulates through our bodies, it delivers oxygen, nutrients, hormones, and antibodies to organs while also removing waste toxins. When cancer develops in the blood, it disrupts its function and causes a slew of problems. The symptoms of blood cancer differ depending on the type.
In most cases, blood cancer has no distinguishing symptoms in its early stages. Still, the following signs and symptoms are concerning and should be discussed with your doctor:
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Slow healing: If a wound takes longer than usual to heal, do not ignore it; instead, consult your doctor. Leukemia patients experience frequent bleeding and bruising as a result of low platelet levels, which are essential for blood clotting and wound healing.
People with blood cancer have low levels of white blood cells and plasma cells, which produce antibodies and protect us against a variety of infections. As a result, a person with blood cancer gets sick frequently and stays sick longer than usual.
Reduced immunity: A person with blood cancer has a low immune system due to a lack of lymphatic drainage and a reduction in disease-fighting blood cells, which leads to frequent infections.
Lumps and swelling: Swelling or an unusual mass in the lymph nodes, such as the armpits, tonsils, or testicles, may occur.
Rectal bleeding: During defecation, bloody discharge may be present.
Urinary habits change: A person with blood cancer may experience a burning sensation or blood in the urine (hematuria).
Skin changes: Blood cancer patients experience frequent bruises, rashes, and bleeding. The color of these symptoms can vary depending on the skin tone.
Pallor: People with blood cancers may appear unusually pale due to a lack of red blood cells in their system.
Frequent episodes of low-grade fever
Tiredness that does not improve with sleep or rest
- Unexpected weight loss
- Sweating at night
- Weight loss even after following a proper diet
- Pain in the abdomen
- Unexplained shortness of breath and cough
- Mild to moderate back and neck pain that never goes away
- A person suffering from blood and bone marrow cancer feels pain in their bones and joints.
Children are also susceptible to leukemia. As a result, keep an eye out for any of the following signs and symptoms in your children:
- Easily fatigued
- Even with a minor bump, easy bleeding and bruising
- Infections regularly and a mild fever
- Appetite suppression
- Rapid weight loss
- Coughing and breathing difficulties
- Bone and joint discomfort
- Lymph nodes swollen
- Gum bleed and swelling
- Abdominal, facial, and arm swelling
In some cases of chronic leukemia, a person does not experience early symptoms, and the disease goes unnoticed for a long time. However, if you experience any of the above symptoms or feel unwell for unknown reasons, consult a health professional.