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UNDERSTANDING THE THREE MAIN Types OF BLOOD CANCER

There are three types of blood cells in our blood: red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. The white blood cells are responsible for fighting infections. The red blood cells transport oxygen to tissues and organs while carbon dioxide is transported to the lungs. Platelets are responsible for blood clots in the event of an injury.

David Eilender MD, Medical Oncologist and Hematologist at Karmanos at McLaren Flint, states that blood-related cancers account for between 10-20% of all cancer cases.

There are three main types of blood cancers
Leukemia
Leukemia is a condition in which the body produces more white blood cells than it should. However, these cells don’t fight infections as well. There are two types of leukemia.

Dr. Eilender explains that there are both acute and chronic forms. The acute forms of leukemia are usually curable. Although chronic forms of leukemia may not be curable, we see patients who live for many years with this type. Some need treatment while others do not.

Lymphoma
Lymphoma is the cancer of lymph systems. There are two types: Non-Hodgkin and Hodgkin. These cancers begin in the lymphocytes. Hodgkin’s disease is characterized by large lymphocyte cells within the lymph nodes. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma begins in B or T cells.

Dr. Eilender says that non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is more common than Hodgkin’s. There are two types of lymphoma: aggressive and less aggressive. The more aggressive forms of lymphoma are easier to treat.

Myeloma
Myeloma is the last form of blood cancer. Myeloma is a type of cancer that affects the bone marrow. It can lead to problems in bone blood counts. This can eventually lead to bone erosion and fractures. Multiple myeloma, also known as myeloma, is a term that refers to multiple myeloma. It can occur in different parts of the bone-marrow. Dr. Eilender states that myeloma is not usually curable.

Dr. Eilender says that researchers are currently trying to find a cure myeloma. “Some forms aren’t painful for patients, while others can cause more pain.”

Can Blood Cancer Be Prevented?
Your blood cell structure is a major factor in your chances of developing blood cancer. Bad mutations can lead to the development of blood cancer. These abnormal cells can cause damage to normal blood cells. Normal for cells to multiply to produce white blood cells that fight infection. Those cells die when the infection is gone.

Dr. Eilender explains that cancer cells are caused by a mutation in which immature cells make more cells than mature ones. They don’t have a purpose and can crowd out normal cells. These mutations must form enough cells to create a problem. The good cells are not affected by the smaller numbers of mutations. They either die or the body creates repair mechanisms to fix the problem.

Is Blood Cancer Genetically?
Blood cancer is rare, unlike breast cancer.

Dr. Eilender says that oncologists may see patients with lymphomas in families or leukemias. But these are rare cases. “Most blood cancers are sporadic.”

Signs and symptoms of blood cancer
The severity of each individual’s cancer and blood type will determine which symptoms they might experience. Some cases might not have the symptoms many associate with cancer. These are some of the most common symptoms:

Permanent fatigue and/or weakness
Nausea//or loss appetite
Swollen lymph nodes
Headaches
Breathing difficulties
Chills and fever
Joint and bone pain

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