Blood cancer is a Hematologic malignancy that affects bone marrow, blood, and lymph nodes. Blood cancer, in many cases, starts within the bone marrow.
Bone marrow is the inner hollow spongy part of long bones. Blood cells are produced in the bone marrow.
Blood cancer happens when blood cells with abnormality start developing in the bone marrow in an uncontrolled manner. The sudden formation of uncontrolled blood cells leads to underdeveloped and immature cells. These immature cells are not able to do the regular functions of fighting disease, etc.
Leukemia, Myeloma & Lymphoma are three significant types of blood cancers.
Leukemia- When bone marrow produces too many immature and abnormal WBC (White Blood Cells), it affects bone marrow’s ability to form RBC and platelets.
Myeloma- This blood cancer develops in plasma cells (also called plasma B — cells) of the blood.
Lymphoma — It is a cancer of lymphocytes. Lymphocytes are cells in the blood which produce antibodies to fight infections.
Anemia: When our circulatory system doesn’t have healthy or sufficient RBCs, it leads to anemia. In anemia, the patient feels weakness and Dizziness. There is also the problem of chest pain and breathing problem. In Multiple myeloma, cells get crowded near other healthy blood cells. That initiates bleeding problem and makes the patient anemic and more chances to get the infection.
Poor Blood clotting: Platelets in our blood help in the clotting of blood. Clotting of blood helps to stop excess bleed from small cuts. When the body doesn’t make many platelets, then there is more bleed than usual from any minor scratch.
Bleeding gums & Bloody nose: Less platelet also leads to bleeding gums & blood coming out from the nose.
Redness of Skin: Due to ruptured blood vessels, the skin develops red patches.
Frequent Infections: White blood cells help in fighting disease, but patient’s immature white blood cells don’t fight infection well, and consequently, they get sick more often and take longer to get over it.
Lumps in the armpit and neck: Cancer cells can build up in your lymph nodes, tonsils, liver, and spleen and cause them to swell. You may feel lumps in your neck or armpit.
Weight-loss: The patient loses much weight in a short period. There is a feeling of fullness after eating a small amount of food.
Bone pain: Unwanted growth of cancer cells into the bone marrow sometimes causes discomfort. Also, in the case of multiple myeloma, there is long-lasting severe pain in the ribs or back. The healing process of bone declines, leading to weak bones. Damaged bones of the spine can put pressure on spinal nerves causing pain in the arms and legs. A further problem in the nervous system can lead to loss of bladder control.
Fever: As the immune system functions improperly, the body is prone to various infections, leading to fever and other related symptoms.
Night Sweats: When cancer causes a fever, the patient’s body may sweat excessively as it tries to cool down. Treatment of cancer by using chemotherapy or drugs can also result in night sweats.
Itchy Skin: Cancer cells produce specific harmful proteins, leading to itchy skin, swollen ankles, or difficulty breathing.
Hypercalcemia: Multiple myeloma raises the calcium level in the patient blood. Hypercalcemia leads to urination and excessive thrust, stomach pain, nausea, constipation, weakness, etc. High calcium level in the blood system is also harmful to the functioning of kidneys.
Weakness & numbness: The proteins released by the cancer cells can cause numbness, pain in the legs, arms, and weakness.
Treatment of blood cancer depends on various factors. For slow-growing blood cancer, the doctor monitors the growth and decides about the treatment accordingly. For fast-growing blood cancer, doctors can advise chemotherapy or radiotherapy or a combination of both. Doctors can also go for stem-cell therapy.
You can consult a well-experienced oncologist, or you can consult online on consultancy websites like Practo, DoctoriDuniya, etc. At DoctoriDuniya, You can book an appointment online with an oncologist or cancer specialist24X7, with eOPd and an e-prescription facility.
The cancer doctor may ask about the family history of the problem and symptoms associated with the disease.
At DoctoriDuniya.com, you can download DoctoriDuniya — Free Medical App and create your Online Personal Medical Account called NAINI. Here you can avail free follow-ups and online doctor consultation with oncologist or cancer specialist at NAINI.
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