Cancer cells may occur in any organic system in the human physiology. Where blood cancer is concerned, cancerous cells will usually attack different parts of the circulatory system. The cancer may also attack the bone marrow in addition to the blood and the lymphatic system.
Types of Blood Cancer
There are three distinct and basic types of cancer. Although each of these types may have several variations, blood cancer is primarily categorized into three types. These are:
This is a type of cancer that is usually found in the bone marrow as well as blood. Leukemia is brought on by abnormal white blood cells being rapidly produced in the body. The result is that the ability of the bone marrow to produce platelets and red blood cells is impaired. Another result of this type of cancer is that the body is unable to fight infection on account of the high number of abnormal white blood cells.
Symptoms of Leukemia
Leukemia leads to a destruction of red blood cells, which are often referred to life sustaining cells. This destruction leads to symptoms of anaemia, extreme fatigue and general weakness. Other symptoms include shortness of breath when performing simple everyday tasks as well as excessive sweating.
Other symptoms of leukemia include swelling of the lymph nodes, and vulnerability to infection. There also could be high counts of white blood corpuscles in the case of a blood test. Symptoms of acute leukemia may not be as obvious especially in the early stages, although those for chronic leukaemia are much more pronounced and intense, and develop rapidly.
This type of blood cancer attacks the lymphatic system. Your lymphatic system is responsible for producing immune cells in addition to getting rid of excess fluids from your body. Lymphocytes are a kind of white blood cell that is responsible for fighting infection. Abnormal lymphocytes later become lymphoma cells, which will usually multiply and collect in the lymph nodes among other tissues. Over a period of time, the cancerous cells will damage the immune system.
Symptoms of Lymphoma
Because this type of blood cancer primarily attacks the lymphatic cells, the most obvious symptom of lymphoma is usually swollen lymphatic node. Other symptoms here include bouts of chill, loss of appetite, drastic weight loss and night sweating.
Other symptoms may include fullness of abdomen, coughing, extreme fatigue, nausea and itching.
This is a type of blood cancer that attacks the plasma cells. These are white blood cells, which are responsible for producing antibodies that fight infection and disease. Myeloma cells interfere with the body’s production of antibodies, which means that your immune system becomes weak and vulnerable to infection.
Symptoms of Myeloma
With these types of blood cancer, the symptoms may not appear in the initial stages. The symptoms will usually develop later on as the disease progresses, and include shortness of breath, susceptibility to infection, fatigue, back pain, bouts of numbness and chest pain. Myeloma may also lead to kidney problems. When a blood test is taken, it is likely that the plasma cells will be abnormally clustered.
Treatment of Blood Cancer
It is often agreed by medical experts and practitioners that blood cancer is very curable especially in the first stage. It is also curable in the second and third stages (there are four stages).
Chemo and radio therapy remain the two most common (and conventional) modes of treatment for blood cancer. Other treatment includes stem cell and bone marrow transplant.
There are also natural treatments that have been seen to have positive effects as far as curing cancer is concerned. There are certain herbs that are often used in the treatment of the different types of blood cancer. The two common herbs used for this purpose that come to mind are Garcinia Mangostana and xanothenes. These are thought to be particularly effective in the treatment of leukemia.
Antioxidants have also proven to be very helpful in the treatment of different types of blood cancer. Although these antioxidants on their own may not cure the cancer, they do offer a great treatment base and support for the cancer medication. Blood cancer patients are advised to include greens and antioxidants in their diet to aid treatment.