What is Blood Cancer?
Wondering what is blood cancer exactly? What is Blood Cancer? Our body functions due to the continuous pumping of blood. This blood contains three essential components. These three components are namely; red blood cells (RBCs) that help to transport oxygen throughout the body, white blood cells (WBCs) that aid in fighting infections and diseases that attack the smooth working of the human body and platelets that assist in the blood clot. These are what we know as the elements that form stem cells.
What are Stem Cells?
Stems have the capacity to develop into any type of blood cell as they multiply. Any difficulty in this process leads to the production of a huge quantity of immature cells. There may also be a condition when the bone marrow gets clogged up and fails to allow other blood cells to perform their tasks.
Types of Blood Cancer-
There are four primary types of leukemia; acute myeloid leukemia (AML), acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). There are cancers that mainly hamper the white blood cells and bone marrow. It leads to quick division of the cells but they do not get the adequate time to grow and develop. Thus, they are unable to do their work. This results in a compromised and not up to the mark immune system that fails to fight infections and foreign substances. There are referred to as ‘acute’ when they develop too fast and need immediate treatment while they are ‘chronic’ when they progress slowly and do not need immediate attention.
Two types of lymphoma are Non-Hodgkin lymphoma and Hodgkin lymphoma. It affects the lymphatic system which then fails to transform the WBCs to different parts of the body and removal of waste products from the blood is also compromised.
This is also called multiple myeloma and impacts plasma cells which are charged with the duty of producing antibodies to fight infections.
Major Causes Of Blood Cancer
- Increasing age: Though this is a cause of blood cancer, please note that cancer can affect anyone at any age.
- Infections: Infections can often lead to the disruption of the proper functioning of cells. Infections are nothing but foreign substances in the body that does not go well with what the system is used to. Infections of any sort that are in direct contact with the blood are the causes of Blood Cancer.
- Substandard Immune System: In case your immune system is not up to the mark due to repeated ailments or lack of proper nutrition, you may be at risk of developing blood cancer. Weak Immune System is the main cause of blood cancer as observed by the specialists.
- Chemicals: It often happens that chemicals in adulterated food items that we consume or the products we apply to our bodies, may be harmful to the blood and may cause blood cancer.
- Radiation treatments: Radiation treatment is used for ailments other than cancer as well. Thus, this exposure may also lead to the growth of cancer cells.
- Genes (Including Genetic Disorders): Not all, but certain types of cancers are known to be genetic. This means that in case you have a family history of sufferers, you too may be at risk. Heredity is among the major causes of blood cancer in children.
- HIV/AIDS: HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. AIDS stands for Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. The name itself clarifies that the immune system is compromised.
- Organ transplant: Organs from the bodies of others may also carry these cancer cells which grow in the new body after transplant. In fact, it’s possible that the donor has a family history of cancer.
- Smoking: Cigarettes have tobacco which is a great contributor to the development of cancer cells.
Link of Blood Pressure with the Cancer
First, it is very important to understand that what is blood pressure. In simple words, blood pressure is the pressure or force of the blood in one’s circulatory system. It is closely linked to the rate of one’s heartbeat and elasticity of the artery walls. Studies and research show the high blood pressure is linked to high chances of developing blood cancer. High blood pressure is also referred to as ‘hypertension’ and may undoubtedly lead to higher risk of kidney cancer, lung cancer, bladder cancer, bowel cancer, oral cancer as well as melanoma and nonmelanoma cancers of the skin.
Drugs of Blood Pressure and their Link with the Cancer
Angiotensin-receptor blockers (ARBs) block angiotensin II and increase blood pressure. Thus, medicines used to treat high blood pressure, heart failure and diabetes slightly increase the risk of developing cancer. These drugs are causes of low blood pressure in cancer patients.
General and Early Stage Symptoms of Blood Cancer
Few Common early stage symptoms of blood cancer are mentioned below:
- Coughing which can lead to pain or heaviness in the chest.
- Frequent and repeated fevers.
- Recurring infections which are not cured even after medication.
- Development of rashes, redness, patchy skin and itchiness. There might be constant skin irritation.
- Rapid loss of appetite.
- There is a constant feeling of uneasiness and nausea even after no intake of food.
- Night Sweats
- Abdominal pain
- Bleeding gums
- Blood in urine
- Bleeding Nose
- Joint pain
- There is a persistent fatigue and lack of energy.
- There is no will to move or engage in any physical activity.
- Easily getting tired. Loss of breath even without much work.
- Swollen but painless lymph nodes in underarms, crotch, and neck.
Prevention of the Causes of Blood Cancer
- Regular exercise and physical fitness are very important. There must at least one sports engagement or minimum 30 minutes of activity. Exercise can eliminate the causes of blood cancer and must be done every day whether one is observing the symptoms or not.
- The body weight must be in accordance with one’s height and weight. Underweight people must increase their weight while those who are obese must shed the extra kilos. Maintaining the Body Mass Index can avoid the causes of blood cancer.
- Calorie dense foods and aerated drinks must be avoided. The body is what is eats. Thus, soft drinks and junk must stay away from. However, they are fine to be consumed in little proportions. In fact, processed meat is also recommended to be avoided.
- Alcohol must be limited. Casual and occasional drinking is accepted as well as recommended for the benefits of different drinks. But, too much of it is dangerous.
- Salt must be taken in only the right proportion. This is linked to blood pressure as spoken about earlier.
- Supplements and self-medication must be avoided as far as possible. Only those drugs must be taken that are prescribed by certified doctors.
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