Blood cancer can be hard to identify in the beginning stage. There may not be any sign or symptom until cancer reach an advanced age. At other times, Cancer symptoms may be mistaken for other diseases such as the flu. Leukaemia, Multiple Myeloma, and Lymphoma are three different forms of blood cancer. These conditions may have unique symptoms, but they share among themselves certain common signs and symptoms of blood cancer as well.
Leukaemia is a blood cancer that starts within the bone marrow where the blood cells are made. Some forms of the Leukaemia presents very acutely so that it gets worse quickly. The patient may suffer from infections easily and may become sick all of a sudden. The chronic form of the disease takes years to manifest itself and hence there are no symptoms for a long period. An indicated blood test may reveal abnormal blood counts.
When the body fails to make enough of Red Blood Cells (RBCs), or makes defective RBCs that cannot function normally, symptoms of anaemia occur. These include:
Blood cancer may also affect the platelets are necessary for clotting of blood. Symptoms of this condition include:
Cancer also affects the Lymphocytes or the white blood cells so that they grow abnormally and do not function well. The body fails to fight the infections. Swelling in the lymph node is a common symptom of lymphoma and the lump may occur in the groin, armpit, or neck region. The swollen lymph nodes may also press against other organs and cause signs of blood cancer such as chest/joint/bone pain, breath shortness, and coughing. Enlargement of the spleen may result in bloatedness.
Also Read: Facts You Need To Know About Blood Cancers
This cancer affects the plasma cells, which fight infections. It is manifested by an abnormal increase in the plasma cell count in the bone marrow. The cells may also secrete certain proteions that harm other organs of the body. The common symptoms associated with this condition include:
There are different types of blood cancer and they may have its own set of unique causes. But all forms of blood cancer have certain causes and risk factors common. These are listed below.
Certain leukemias like Acute Myeloid Leukemia(AML) are more common in elderly whereas Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia(ALL) are more frequent in children like wise myeloma is a disease of adults.
Radiation can cause blood cancer. People who have to get radiation therapy for the treatment of some other kind of cancer are more prone to be affected by blood cancer especially AML. The greater the amount of radiation a person is exposed to, the more the likelihood of blood cancer. Apart from the treatment, imaging tests including X-rays and CT scan, and radioactive rays at the workplace may be a source of radiation that can cause blood cancer.
Chemotherapy drugs including platinum agents, alkylating agents, and the topoisomerase 2 inhibitors increase the likelihood of blood cancer.
Having a sibling or a family member affected with blood cancer may also make a person more vulnerable to the condition.
Exposure to a number of chemicals can be a cause of blood cancer. For example : Benzene, found in the cigarette and chemicals used in gasoline/oil/chemical industries, detergents, cleaning agents, glue, paint stripper, and art supplies can be a cause of blood cancer.
Genetic composition and inheritance of syndromes may be a cause of blood cancer. Some of these conditions include Down syndrome, Swachman-Diamond syndrome, Congenital Neutropenia, Bloom syndrome, and other conditions.
Infection with Human Immunodeficiency virus and autoimmune diseases are the risk factors and causes of lymphoma.