08 JUNE 2019

Blood Cancers: A Quick Look


Blood cancers: A quick look

“Blood cancers” is an umbrella term for cancers that affect the blood, bone marrow and lymphatic system. They can affect any of the three main components of blood: Red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. The three main types of blood cancers are leukaemia, lymphoma (Hodgkin’s and Non-Hodgkin’s) and myeloma.

Types of Cancer

Rank of common blood cancers worldwide in 2018

New cases diagnosed worldwide in 2018

Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

11

509,590

Leukaemia

13

437,033

Myeloma

22

159,985

Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

26

79,990

Source: World Cancer Research Fund International

1) Myeloma

Affects plasma cells, which are found in the bone marrow and produce antibodies to fight infection.

Main symptoms:

  • Pain in bones
  • Bone fractures
  • Tiredness

2) Leukaemia

Affects white blood cells, which help the body to fight infection.

Main symptoms:

  • Persistent fatigue
  • Easy bruising or bleeding
  • Prolonged fever

3) Lymphoma

Affects the lymphatic system, which is part of the immune system that fights infections and diseases. Two types: Hodgkin’s lymphoma and Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Main symptoms:

  • Enlarged lymph nodes that don’t go away
  • Prolonged fever
  • Shortness of breath
  • Unexplained itching
  • Weight loss
  • Night sweats

 

Treatment options

  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiotherapy
  • Bone marrow transplantation (in more severe cases)
  • Targeted therapy and immunotherapy
TAGS blood cancer, bone marrow, lymphatic system
READ MORE ABOUT Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL) in Children, Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML), Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia (CLL), Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia (CML), Hodgkin Lymphoma, Multiple Myeloma, Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma