Your blood makes up roughly 8% of your average body weight and plays a critical part in how your body works. Your blood transports oxygen, nutrients, hormones, and antibodies to all of your organs as it flows through your vascular system. In most cases, cancer in the blood is caused by aberrant and excessive proliferation of white blood cells.
The development and function of your blood cells are affected by blood cancer. The majority of these cancers begin in the bone marrow, which is where blood is created. Red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets are the three types of blood cells that grow and develop in your bone marrow.
The normal development of blood cells is disrupted in most blood cancers by the uncontrolled growth of an aberrant form of a blood cell. These malignant cells, also known as abnormal blood cells, prohibit your blood from completing numerous duties, such as fighting infections and preventing catastrophic bleeding.
Blood cancer treatments vary from active monitoring without cancer-directed therapy to traditional cancer treatments such as immunotherapies, chemotherapies, and targeted medicines.
In some cases, symptoms do not show until the disease has advanced. Alternatively, the symptoms may be misdiagnosed as a severe cold or flu. Coughing or chest pain, fever or chills, frequent infections, itchy skin or rash, loss of appetite or nausea, night sweats, chronic weakness and exhaustion, shortness of breath, and swollen, painless lymph nodes in the neck, armpits, or groin are some of the most common blood cancer symptoms.
Leukemia, Lymphoma, and Myeloma are the three most common kinds of blood cancer.
Leukemia is a type of blood cancer that starts in the bone marrow and spreads throughout the body. When the body produces large amounts of white blood cells abnormally, it obstructs the bone marrow to make red blood cells and platelets.
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is a type of blood cancer that begins in the lymphatic system and is caused by lymphocytes, which are white blood cells that aid in the body’s immune system.
Hodgkin lymphoma blood cancer begins from lymphocytes in the lymphatic system. The Reed-Sternberg cell is a type of aberrant lymphocyte found in Hodgkin lymphoma.
Multiple Myeloma is a type of blood cancer that begins in the blood plasma cells produced in the bone marrow.
Treatment for blood cancer is determined by the type of cancer, your age, the rate of spreading, and other factors. The following are some of the most prevalent blood cancer treatments for leukemia, lymphoma, and Multiple Myeloma:
Stem cell transplant is a procedure that involves infusing the body with healthy blood-forming stem cells. Stem cells can be extracted from bone marrow, circulating blood, and umbilical cord blood.
Chemotherapy is a cancer treatment that uses anticancer drugs to stop cancer cells from growing in the body. Chemotherapy for blood cancer may entail administering a series of drugs in a certain order. This procedure can also be combined with a stem cell transplant.
Radiation therapy is a sort of treatment that can be used to either kill cancer cells or relieve pain. Doctors can also prescribe it before a stem cell transplant.
Although the exact cause of blood cancer is uncertain, it is linked to several factors. Aging, family history, a weakened immune system, and specific diseases are some of the causes.
Some types of blood cancers have been associated with smoking, radiation exposure, and exposure to chemicals like benzene (a frequently used industrial chemical). Infections with the Epstein-Barr virus, HIV, and the human T-cell lymphoma/leukemia virus are also risk factors for lymphomas and leukemias.
The term “stage” relates to cancer’s severity. Making an informed treatment decision is critical for anybody diagnosed with cancer, and it starts with determining the stage or course of blood cancer. However, knowing the stage of blood cancer is one of the most critical variables in determining the best treatment choice.
The majority of cancers are classified into stages based on the size and spread of tumors. However, unlike different types of cancers, blood cancer develops in the bone marrow, making it a disease with different staging.
Enlargement of the lymph nodes is a symptom of the first stage of blood cancer. It occurs as a result of a rapid increase in the number of lymphocytes. Because cancer has not progressed or impacted any other physical organs, the risk is quite minimal at this point.
Stage 1 blood cancer symptoms include:
Fever (38°C or above), rash or itchy skin, pain in your bones, joints, or abdomen, fatigue, and pallor are some of the other symptoms.
Unlike some other malignancies, diet and exercise have little impact on your risk of developing blood cancer. On the other hand, a healthy lifestyle can greatly minimize your risk of various cancers and disorders.
Because bone marrow has become congested with cancer cells, leukemia or myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) can cause bone or joint discomfort. These cells can sometimes form a mass near the nerves in the spinal cord or the joints. Bone discomfort occurs in about 25% of people with acute lymphoblastic leukemia at the start of the disease.
Acute myeloid leukemia and myelodysplastic syndromes are less likely to cause bone discomfort. The most prevalent sites of bone pain are the long bones of the arms and legs and the ribs and sternum of the rib cage. Large joints, such as the hips and shoulders, may develop joint pain and swelling several weeks after bone discomfort begins.
Lymphoma, both Hodgkin’s and non- Hodgkin’s, usually starts with painless enlargement of lymph nodes in the neck, armpit, or groin. Complications of lymphoma and its therapy may induce pain during the disease, such as chest, stomach, or bone discomfort.
When myeloma patients are first diagnosed, more than two-thirds of them experience bone pain, which usually occurs in the back or chest but can also occur in the arms and legs. Cancer cells proliferate in high numbers, particularly in the marrow, destroying normal bone tissue and increasing the risk of fracture and collapse in long bones and vertebrae. Myeloma can cause significant bone pain, but alleviation is usually visible after Myeloma is successfully treated with chemotherapy.
In a survey, people who were 22 to 96 years old had a survival rate for Myeloma was found to be 14% being over 75, 33% being between 65 and 75, and 53% being younger than 65.
The proportion of patients who live five years or longer after being diagnosed with most forms of blood cancer has increased dramatically over the last decade.
According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), the average survival rate in stage 1 is 62 months, approximately five years.
The average survival rate for stage 2 cancer, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS), is 44 months, or three to four years.
According to the American Cancer Society, stage 3 has a survival rate of 29 months or two to three years.