My Blue Dots Blog

Blood Cancers

Blood Cancers

March 4, 2015

March has been dedicated to honor the Red Cross as we celebrate the power of blood in fueling our bodies. However, even such a life-sustaining fluid is not protected against cancer. It is estimated that one person in the United States is diagnosed with a blood cancer every 3 minutes and account for 9.4% of all cancer deaths. There are 3 main types of blood cancers and all of them play a role in impairing the immune system.

1. Leukemia:

Commonly found in blood and bone marrow, this type of blood cancer is caused by increased production of abnormal white blood cells. These affected white blood cells lose the function in fighting off infection and produce red blood cells and platelets.

2. Lymphoma:

Tumors that develop in the lymphatic system, including the lymph nodes, spleen, thymus, and bone marrow. Lymphoma affects the lymphatic system’s role in removing excess fluids and producing immune cells. Like leukemia, lymphoma also affects the immune system.

3. Myeloma:

Affects primarily the plasma cells, white blood cells that produce antibodies in defending against infections

Treating blood cancers is complex and depends on a variety of factors including cancer type/sub-type, severity of the cancer, and personal preferences. Some common treatment methods include chemotherapy, medication, radiation, or stem cell transplant.

 

Sources:

http://www.lls.org/diseaseinformation/getinformationsupport/factsstatistics/

http://www.hematology.org/Patients/Cancers/

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/lymphoma/basics/definition/CON-20035937

Picture Source:

http://rlv.zcache.com/blood_cancer_awareness_5_poster-rb8239124957d4781a82a9dd229925659_wad_8byvr_512.jpg