What Are the Symptoms of Blood Cancers

What Are the Symptoms of Blood Cancers

What Are the Symptoms of Blood Cancers?

• Leukemia. Leukemia negatively affects the bone marrow's ability to produce red blood cells. Insufficient red blood cells lead to anemia, weakness, and fatigue. Patients with leukemia sweat easily and experience shortness of breath, even after performing only minor household chores.

• Lymphoma. The major symptom of lymphoma is an enlarged lymph node. Patients may not feel any pain at all. Other symptoms include weight loss, lack of appetite, and fever.

• Myeloma. Initially, there are no apparent symptoms associated with myeloma. As the disease progresses, patients may feel fatigue and back pain and experience frequent infections, shortness of breath, and chest pains.

Blood cancers are a collective term for cancers that affect the blood, bone marrow, and lymphatic system. They often start with the uncontrollable growth of abnormal stem cells in the bone marrow. Under normal physiological conditions, stem cells in the bone marrow can develop into three major types of blood cells—namely, red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. When stem cells transform into cancerous cells, the bone marrow is unable to produce sufficient amounts of normal blood cells. These cancer cells lose the ability to perform the normal physiological functions of blood cells. In the US, an estimated 172,000 blood cancer cases occur every year. A new case of blood cancer is diagnosed every three minutes.

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