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Understanding the Different Types of Blood Cancer

Blood cancer, in technical terms as hematologic cancer, occurs when there is an abnormal sort of growth of blood cells in the bone marrow, leading to damaged function and production and function of blood cells. With a pacing rate of an individual gets diagnosed with blood cancer every 5 minutes out of which 70,000 people die per annum. There are many types of blood cancer, each carrying different characteristics and treatment options.

What is Blood Cancer?

This cancer is a type of cancer that can affect the production and function of the blood cells in the body. What can be even more unfortunate is for the same blood cells to develop in the bone marrow, where they are produced, or in the lymphatic system. This includes the lymph nodes and lymphatic vessels. Blood Cancer can end up affecting different types of blood cells, like:

  • Red blood cells, which can carry oxygen throughout the body
  • White blood cells, that help in recovery of wounds 
  • Platelets, which helps with blood clots

Types of Blood Cancer

Three main types of cancer


A type of cancer that affects the WBC (white blood cells). It originated in the blood marrow itself, developing abnormal white blood cells that destroys their ability to produce useful red blood cells and platelets.

There are 4 types of leukemia:

  • Acute lymphocytic leukemia

This type of leukaemia means that the spongy tissue inside the bone produces immature cells rather than mature ones. The remission rate is about 80-90%.

  • Acute myeloid leukemia

This type of blood cancer occurs when the myeloid cells disturb the production of normal white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets. The symptoms are fatigue, bruising over the body, and frequent fever. This is a very rare type of cancer.

  • Chronic lymphocytic leukemia

This type of blood cancer is found in the bone marrow because of the white blood cells called B-cells. Majorly affecting older adults, this occurs because of the slowed-down process of production of cells. Diagnosis is difficult as there are no symptoms initially, making it difficult to choose the treatment process. This is also a rare type of cancer.

  • Chronic myeloid leukemia

Affecting older adults, this specific type slowly progresses in the bone marrow. The chromosome mutation occurs spontaneously making it difficult the cell production to function. There are no symptoms earlier but eventually, the body might show signs of increased tiredness, unreasonable weight loss, and or pale skin.,


A cancer of the lymphatic system, which is a component of the body’s defence against germs, is called lymphoma. The spleen, thymus gland, bone marrow, and lymph nodes—lymph glands—are components of the lymphatic system.

There are two types of Lymphoma, including:

  • Hodgkin lymphoma 

A cancer of the lymphatic system, which is a component of the body’s defence against germs, is called lymphoma. The spleen, thymus gland, bone marrow, and lymph nodes—lymph glands—are components of the lymphatic system.

  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma

a blood cancer that originates from lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell that aids in the body’s defense against infections, and grows in the lymphatic system.


Also known as multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer that affects the plasma cells. These are the types of white blood cells. The particular type primarily affects the bone and bone marrow. 

Myelodysplastic syndromes

This type of blood cancer exists when the immature blood cells produced in the bone marrow fail to mature, failing a lot of abilities and functions it is supposed to perform.

Myeloproliferative neoplasms 

This type of blood cancer is when the bone marrow ends up producing too many red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets.

Causes of Blood Cancer

The causal effect is very ambiguous when it comes to identifying the root cause of blood cancer. However, there can be several habits or reasons that occur from your lifestyle or surroundings that can develop such as disease:

  • Genetic factors: 

The probability of you getting diagnosed with blood cancer increases if anyone in your family already has it or if the previous generation in your family was diagnosed with the same.

  • Exposure to certain chemicals, such as benzene

Benzene is a chemical that includes complex combinations that affect gene mutations causing a higher risk of getting a positive diagnosis. 

  • Radiation exposure

High-energy radiation can harm DNA and cause cancer. Examples of this radiation include gamma rays, beta particles, alpha particles, and neutrons.

  • Certain viral infections, such as the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)

Many human cancers, such as Burkitt’s lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease, nasopharyngeal carcinoma, certain T cell lymphomas, post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease, and more recently, certain stomach and smooth muscle cancers, have been associated with the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV).

Symptoms of Blood Cancer

The symptoms deviate according to the intensity and the stage of cancer one is diagnosed with. But yet there are a few common symptoms, including:


  • Fatigue
  • Unexplained weight loss  
  • Frequent infections
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Easy bruising or bleeding
  • Bone pain


These symptoms may sound very borderline and common, problems that we don’t really approach the doctor for, but if this problem persists, you should not ignore it and consult the doctor for it. 


Blood Cancer Diagnosis?


With constant developments with technology and equipment, through a combination of blood tests, bone marrow biopsy, and imaging tests like MRI scans and CT scans. These tests help determine the type of blood cancer and its stage.


Curability and Treatment Options


The team of doctors always try to reduce the gap between curability and diagnosis. The type of cancer and what stage plays a huge role in choosing the correct treatment options. The treatment options include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapy, immunotherapy, and stem cell transplant. At the end of the day, the objective of the treatment is to eliminate cancer cells and recover normal blood cell production. 


Kirron Kher: The Indian celebrity who fought blood cancer


An actress and a politician, Kirron Kher, was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, which is a type of blood cancer, in 2021. She had undergone a treatment which turned out to be a successful one and has been in remission since then. Kirron Kher’s story is an inspiring example of faith, dedication, resilience and courage in the face of cancer.

The Significance of Correct Diagnosis and Treatment

For individuals with blood cancer, early detection and effective treatment are essential to improve their prognosis. In the event that you encounter any blood cancer-related symptoms or risk factors, you should definitely speak with a medical practitioner. An early diagnosis can result in more successful treatment and an improved standard of living.


As blood cancer is a complicated illness, diagnosis and treatment must be approached from all angles. People can prevent blood cancer and seek prompt medical assistance when necessary by being aware of the many forms of the disease, as well as its causes, symptoms, and available treatments. Blood cancer patients have an improving prognosis and hope for a better future because of continued research and therapy improvements. Hospitals and doctors thrive to achieve a 360 approach with optimum success rate. Despite cancer, there is always reason for optimism for the future.

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