About blood cancer
Blood cancer, also called leukemia, is a type of cancer in which the body’s abnormal blood starts growing out of control, which therefore interrupts the functioning of the normal blood cells. These abnormal blood cells hinder the body’s ability to fight off any infection thereby leading to blood cancer.
In simple terms, blood cancer is a cancer of the blood-forming tissues, like the bone marrow. There are several types of blood cancer like acute lymphoblastic leukemia, acute myeloid leukemia, and chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
Causes of blood cancer
There could be several factors or causes that may increase the risk of blood cancer, following are some of the known causes of blood cancer.
Previous treatment of cancer
People who have had cancer in the past, must have surely gone through radiation and chemotherapy which might have triggered dother types of cancer.
Exposure to chemicals
If your job requires too much exposure to chemicals there are high chances that you might be infected with some other kind of disease. Working in a factory or at a gas station you consume too much of chemicals thereby increasing chances of cancer
People who were born or have developed genetic abnormalities are at a high risk of leukemia. Disorders like down syndrome are associated with a risk that a child or an adult with down syndrome may be diagnosed with blood cancer.
History of blood cancer
If anyone in your family has had blood cancer or leukemia, they are surely at a high risk of having blood cancer themselves.
As per government guidelines, on every pack of cigarettes it is mentioned that smoking can lead to cancer. So, people who smoke cigarettes increase their risk of acute myelogenous leukemia.
Symptoms of blood cancer
Leukemia symptoms vary, depending on the type of leukemia. Common leukemia signs and symptoms include:
- Fever or chills
- Persistent fatigue, weakness
- Frequent or severe infections
- Losing weight without trying
- Swollen lymph nodes, enlarged liver or spleen
- Easy bleeding or bruising
- Recurrent nosebleeds
- Tiny red spots in your skin (petechiae)
- Excessive sweating, especially at night
- Bone pain or tenderness
Doctors may perform a series of tests and procedures to detect blood cancer in the system. Below are some of the diagnostic exams that the patient might have to undergo for the right diagnosis:-
- Physical exam
- Bone marrow test
- Blood tests
The treatment for blood cancer depends on several factors. The type of cancer will determine the treatment. The age and overall health of the patient will also be the factors to keep in mind before planning the treatment.
- Radiation therapy
- Bone marrow transplant
- Targeted drug treatments