The majority of blood cancers, also known as hematologic malignancies, begin in the bone marrow, where blood is created. Blood cancers develop when aberrant blood cells begin to proliferate uncontrollably, interfering with the function of regular blood cells, which fight infection and make new blood cells.
Blood cancer types
Leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma are the three most common kinds of blood and bone marrow cancer:
Leukemia is a kind of blood cancer that develops in the blood and bone marrow. It happens when the body produces an abnormally large number of white blood cells, interfering with the bone marrow’s capacity to produce red blood cells and platelets.
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is a form of blood cancer that originates in the lymphatic system from lymphocytes, which are white blood cells that aid the body in fighting infections.
Hodgkin lymphoma is a kind of blood cancer that arises from lymphocytes in the lymphatic system. The presence of an aberrant lymphocyte known as the Reed-Sternberg cell characterises Hodgkin lymphoma.
Multiple myeloma is a kind of blood cancer that starts in the plasma cells, which are white blood cells generated in the bone marrow. Learn about the phases of multiple myeloma as well.
Symptoms of blood cancer
Among the most prevalent bone marrow and blood cancer symptoms are:
Fever and chills
Fatigue and weakness that persist
Nausea and loss of appetite
Unknown cause of weight loss
Sweating at night
Pain in the bones/joints
Infections that occur often
Itchy skin or a rash on the skin
Lymph nodes in the neck, underarms, or groyne that are swollen
How is blood cancer identified?
A physical examination to verify your overall health is frequently the first step in determining a diagnosis. Your doctor will check your body and lymph nodes for symptoms of infection or bruises, as well as evaluate your medical history.
To detect blood cancer, many tests and methods may be utilised. What you need will be determined by the kind of blood cancer suspected. To determine a diagnosis, your care team may prescribe testing and analyse all of the data with you.
A biopsy is a test that gathers cell samples for analysis in a laboratory by a pathologist. Some kinds of blood cancer, such as lymphoma, may need a lymph node biopsy, which involves obtaining a sample of lymph tissue or a whole lymph node.
Certain kinds of blood cancer may be diagnosed by testing your bone marrow, which is where blood cells are created. A bone marrow aspiration is a technique that doctors perform to extract a tiny sample of bone marrow, blood, and bone from either a hip bone or a breastbone. The sample is transported to a laboratory where it is examined for abnormal cells or changes in genetic material.
Some kinds of blood cancer benefit more from imaging scans than others. A scan may detect an enlarged lymph node, a frequent indication of lymphoma, but it is not often used to identify leukaemia, a blood malignancy that does not generate visible lesions. Scanners, however, may be useful in determining if cancer has spread to other regions of the body.
Among the scans are:
CT (computed tomography) scan
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) (MRI)
PET (positron emission tomography) scan
During biopsies, some kinds of scans are utilised to assist locate the region to be collected.