Blood Cancer

What is Blood?

Blood is a type of fluid connective tissue that transports nutrients, hormones, and breathing gases, among other things. Body temperature, pH, and other thermoregulation mechanisms are all managed by blood.

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Erythrocytes (RBCs), leucocytes (WBCs), thrombocytes (blood platelets), and plasma (proteins, salts, and water) are all components of human blood.

What is Blood Cancer?

Hematologic cancer is another name for blood cancer. When the bone marrow and blood cells are damaged, this disease arises. As a result, the creation and activity of these cells cease (fighting infections and repairing our body cells), and cancer cells spread uncontrollably.

Types of Blood Cancer

There are three categories of blood cancers. They are as follows −

  • Leukemia

  • Myeloma

  • Lymphoma


Leukaemia is a kind of cancer that affects the bone marrow and the blood. When the fast synthesis of aberrant white blood cells begins, it causes it. These white blood cells are unable to combat the infection, and as a result, bone marrow's capacity to produce healthy red blood cells and platelets is harmed.


Myeloma is a kind of cancer that develops in plasma cells. Plasma cells are white blood cells that create antibodies that help the body fight infection and sickness. Myeloma cells interfere with the normal synthesis of these antibodies. This lowers the immune system, making the body more vulnerable to infections.


Lymphoma is a kind of blood cancer that affects our lymphatic system. The system is in charge of eliminating excess fluids from the body as well as creating immune cells. A lymphocyte is a kind of white blood cell that aids in infection resistance.

Some of these lymphocytes develop into lymphoma cells and become aberrant. They begin to proliferate in lymph nodes and other tissues later. Cancerous cells weaken the immune system over time.

Symptoms of Blood Cancer

Blood cancer can manifest itself in a variety of ways. These are determined by the sort of blood cancer that a patient has. Symptoms might be misinterpreted as indicators of the severe flu or cold.

The following are the general signs and symptoms of blood cancer −

  • Chill or fever

  • Sweats at night

  • Infection regularly

  • Itchy skin or a rash

  • Coughing or chest discomfort

  • Appetite loss or nausea

  • Armpits, groin, and lymph nodes that are swollen but not painful.

Causes of Blood Cancer

Mutations in the genetic makeup of blood cells—the DNA—cause all blood cancers.

Other risk factors differ depending on the kind of blood cancer.

The following are risk factors for developing Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML), the most frequent type of adult leukemia −

  • Getting older

  • Gender: male

  • Industrial chemicals such as benzene exposure

  • Smoking

  • Treatment for cancer in the past

  • High levels of radiation exposure

  • Other blood cancers in the past

Diagnosing Blood Cancer

A physical examination to verify your general 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.

Following procedures are used to diagnose blood cancer −

  • Biopsy

  • Imaging tests

  • Blood tests


A biopsy is a procedure that gathers samples of cells for laboratory analysis by a pathologist.A lymph node biopsy, which retrieves a sample of lymph tissue or an entire lymph node, may be required for various forms of blood cancers, such as lymphoma.

Imaging Tests

Some kinds of blood cancer benefit more from imaging scans than others. Although a scan can detect an enlarged lymph node, which is a frequent indication of lymphoma, it is rarely used to diagnose leukemia—a blood malignancy that causes no visible lesions.

Scans can still reveal whether cancer has spread to other places of the body.

Blood Tests

The cell count of different components of blood, such as white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets, is seen in a Complete Blood Count (CBC).

Blood chemistry tests determine the concentrations of various compounds in your blood.

For example, abnormal protein levels may reveal information about your illness.

Doctors may want to evaluate your blood calcium level if multiple myeloma is suspected. Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) is an enzyme that may be tested to check for lymphoma.

Treatment of Blood Cancers

The type of cancer, your age, how quickly the disease is spreading, where cancer has spread, and other factors all influence treatment for blood and bone marrow malignancies.

Following are some of the most prevalent blood cancer therapies for leukemia, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma −

  • Stem Cell Transplant

  • Chemotherapy

  • Radiation Therapy

Stem Cell Transplant

A stem cell transplant is a procedure in which the body receives healthy blood-forming stem cells. Bone marrow, circulating blood, and umbilical cord blood can all be used to harvest stem cells.


Chemotherapy is a treatment that employs anticancer medications to halt the development of cancer cells in the body. Chemotherapy for blood cancer may include the administration of numerous medications in a specific order. This therapy can also be used in conjunction with a stem cell transplant.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy is a type of treatment that can be used to kill cancer cells or ease the pain. It is also possible to take it before a stem cell transplant.


Many people are unaware of the blood cancer symptoms until the condition has progressed. So it is always advisable to get a physical examination done to check the symptoms of infection or bruises, as well as evaluate your medical history.

Updated on: 13-Oct-2022


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