Blood Cancer Symptoms and Risk Factors
Blood cancer is classified broadly into three types namely leukemia, which happens due to uncontrolled production of abnormal white blood cells, lymphoma affects the lymphatic system, and myeloma, which is a cancer of the plasma cells, which help in antibody formation. While there might be few common symptoms, few would be specific to the type of blood cancer and might act as hallmark for the specific type of blood cancer. The general symptoms usually manifest in the form of fever, chills, constant fatigue, nausea and vomiting. Cancer is remarkably noted with an unexplained weight loss with severe loss in appetite. Headaches and shortness of breaths are also common and frequent infections reflect the overall decrease in body immunity. Easy bleeding or bruising is the hallmark of blood cancer, along with other symptoms, should warrant an immediate meeting with a physician.
However few side effects help the physician identify the sub-type of blood cancer:
Symptoms that indicate leukemia
Acute Leukemia is represented by acute destruction of RBCs, which lead to blood loss causing anemia, weakness and extreme fatigue.
Symptoms that indicate lymphoma
Swollen lymphatic nodes associated with little or no pain are characteristic of this type of blood cancer.
Symptoms that indicate myeloma
Its initial stages usually go unnoticed with not many symptoms, followed up by the routine symptoms of prolonged fatigue, frequent infections, and breathlessness. Long term symptoms might involve kidney problems associated with it further validated with blood tests that showcase abnormal clusters of plasma cells.
There might be some symptoms that might want immediate medical attention, these include:
- Heavy and uncontrolled bleeding
- Loss of neural acuity and consciousness facing stages of delirium, lethargy, unresponsiveness, seizure
- Bluish coloration of the lips or fingernails
- Severe pain in abdomen and or chest with shortness of breath
- Rapid heart rate
The factors that might increase the risk of developing blood cancer
- Old age
- Family History of blood cancer
- Prior exposure to radiation/chemotherapy or cancer causing substances & chemicals
- Compromised immune system due to such conditions as HIV/AIDS, taking corticosteroids, or organ transplant
- History of organ transplant
This write-up was contributed by Credihealth content team:
Credihealth is India’s No.1 Medical Assistance company. Credihealth gives guidance to a patient from the first consultation through the entire hospitalization process. A team of in-house doctors helps the patient find the right doctor, book appointment, request cost estimate for procedures and manage admission & discharge processes.
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