KOMPAS.com – Blood cancer is one of the rare types of cancer that needs to be watched out for.
This disease usually starts in the bone marrow, where blood is produced.
Before recognizing some of the symptoms of blood cancer, it’s a good idea to recognize what blood cancer is and its types.
Also read: Leukemia (Blood Cancer): Symptoms, Causes, Types, Treatment
Blood cancer is a disease that makes the growth and performance of blood cells out of control.
Reported from YaleMedicine, about eight percent of the total body weight comes from blood. Each blood cell will circulate throughout the blood vessel system.
Blood consists of plasma, red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. The plasma and red blood cells are in charge of transporting oxygen, nutrients, hormones, and antibodies to all parts of the body.
While white blood cells are responsible for fighting infection. Meanwhile, platelets are useful as blood clot-forming substances to prevent bleeding.
There are three types of blood cancer that often attack, namely:
- Leukemia: attacks white blood cells and affects the immune system
- Lymphoma that attacks the lymphatic system, especially the lymph nodes, and affects white blood cells
- Myeloma that attacks blood plasma cells and affects white blood cells that are important for protecting the body from infection
Symptoms of blood cancer can vary, depending on the type of blood cancer that attacks. However, there are some common signs of this disease.
Also read: Causes of Leukemia and its Risk Factors
Symptoms of blood cancer
There are several symptoms of blood cancer that sufferers usually feel, including:
Weight loss for no apparent reason
People with blood cancer can lose weight without a strict diet or excessive exercise. This is because cancer cells change the body’s metabolism, reducing muscle mass and fat.
Frequent bruising and bleeding
Decreased levels of platelets in charge of forming blood clots can make a person often bruised and bleed. The form of bleeding can be bruising, nosebleeds, bleeding gums, heavy menstrual blood, or brain bleeding.
A lump appears in the lymph nodes
Excessive production of white blood cells can build up in the lymph nodes. As a result, sufferers may find painless lumps appearing in lymph nodes such as the neck, armpit, or groin.
Also read: 13 Signs of Leukemia to Watch Out for
Blood cancer can also reduce the production of red blood cells. As a result, sufferers may experience shortness of breath, weakness, fast heart rate, dizziness, or fainting.
Sweating at night
Some people with blood cancer, lymphoma and leukemia often sweat a lot at night, even though the weather is not hot or stifling.
Low white blood cell production can make the body susceptible to infection. As a result, sufferers can often get infections or are prone to severe infections.
When white blood cell levels are low and the body is struggling to fight off the disease, sufferers can often experience signs of infection, such as fever.
Also read: Know What is Malignant Lymphoma, Symptoms, Causes, How to Overcome It
Rash and itching for no apparent reason
Patients with blood cancer due to low levels of platelets may experience symptoms of itching, a reddish or purplish rash, itching accompanied by a burning sensation in some parts of the skin.
Bone, joint and stomach pain
Blood cancer can also make bones and joints prone to pain. In addition, the stomach feels uncomfortable, painful, bloated, or like being stabbed behind the left rib.
Lack of red blood cells due to blood cancer can cause anemia and prolonged fatigue. As a result, sufferers are often tired even though they have had enough rest and sleep, feel weak, and have headaches.
Anemia due to lack of red blood cells due to blood cancer can make the skin very pale, weak, and have headaches. So pale, the skin looks dark gray and pale palms.
Also read: 7 causes of lymphoma cancer, from infection to breast implants
Who is at risk for blood cancer?
The cause of blood cancer usually comes from abnormal or excessive reproduction of blood cells.
The risk factors for this disease are thought to be due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors, such as:
- Smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke
- Radiation exposure
- Exposure to chemicals such as benzene
- Epstein-Barr virus infection, HIV, or a viral infection that attacks the lymph nodes
If you feel the symptoms of blood cancer above, immediately do an examination to the doctor.
If there are suspected signs of this disease, doctors usually recommend the patient to undergo a complete blood test, X-ray, MRI, CT scan, or PET examination.
Also read: 11 Symptoms of Lymphoma Cancer to Watch Out for
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