HomeHealthWhat are the Symptoms of Blood Cancer?

What are the Symptoms of Blood Cancer?

Blood cancer is an umbrella term that covers many types of blood cancers, all of which are caused by abnormal, or rogue, blood cells. Blood cancer is a broad term for cancers that affect the blood, bone marrow and lymph nodes. Blood cancers affect the production and function of blood cells and progress in different ways. Blood cancers are caused by abnormal changes (mutations) to the DNA within blood cells.

The most common types of blood cancer are 

  1. Leukemia,
  2. Lymphoma
  3. Myeloma

These cancers can be difficult to diagnose early on. In many cases, doctors prioritize excluding other conditions before establishing a diagnosis. Treatment for blood cancer depends on the type and stage of cancer, but it may include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or stem cell transplantation. It is important for people to seek medical attention if they have persistent symptoms that are not due to another condition.

The number of people diagnosed with a type of blood cancer is staggering: Every four minutes, one person in the world dies from a type of blood cancer – making it the third leading cause of cancer death in this country. Another 1,000 people will be diagnosed with a type of blood cancer each day.

  • Leukemia Blood Cancer

Leukemia, also known as blood cancer, occurs when a healthy blood cell turns into an abnormal blood cell. This produces extra cells, which do not work properly, and may crowd out normal cells in the bone marrow. Normal cells die, and are replaced with new ones. But leukemia cells do not die, they continue to divide and build up in the body. There are several types of leukemia, some more common than others. Some can be cured and others cannot. The type of treatment a patient receives depends on the type of leukemia they have and other factors like their age and state of health.

  • Lymphoma Blood Cancer

Lymphoma is a cancer of the immune system and is the most common blood cancer in the world. The hallmark of lymphomas is swelling caused by buildup of lymphatic tissue in lymph nodes, but it can sometimes occur in other parts of the body as well.

  • Myeloma Blood Cancer

Myeloma is a type of blood cancer that affects plasma cells, a kind of white blood cell. In myeloma, the plasma cells become abnormal and grow out of control, eventually destroying healthy tissue and interfering with your body’s ability to fight infection or produce normal, healthy red blood cells. Cancer cells usually build up in the bone marrow, causing weakness and pain in the bones. Myeloma isn’t considered curable, but it can be controlled with treatment.

Blood Cancer Symptoms

If you have been diagnosed with blood cancer, it is important to recognize the symptoms and know when to see your doctor. Patients and caregivers can play an active role in assessing symptoms. If a symptom occurs, is persistent for more than two weeks, or worsens over time, it’s important to talk to your health care team. Below are some of the most common blood cancer symptoms as

  1. Fatigue
  2. Swelling in the lymph nodes
  3. Fever
  4. Night sweats
  5. Weight loss
  6. Bruising/bleeding

These symptoms don’t automatically mean you have blood cancer but they could indicate one.

Blood Cancer Treatment options

There are a variety of treatment options for blood cancers. The ideal treatment depends on the type of cancer and how far it has spread. Treatment options can include 

  1. Surgery
  2. Chemotherapy
  3. Radiation therapy
  4. Immunotherapy, and 
  5. Bone marrow transplant.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments