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









Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma



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

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