Blood cancer is one of the most dreaded forms of cancer. It affects red blood cells, bone marrow or lymph and may enter the bloodstream. It is also known as Hematologic cancer. Blood cancer can be of commonly three types depending on tissues where it develops. These types are Leukemia or cancer of blood cells or bone marrow, Lymphoma or cancer of lymph nodes and Myeloma or cancer of Plasma cells. A large number of blood cancer patients are diagnosed every year. Deaths due to blood cancer is more than 50,000 a year in U.S. Leukemia is more common in children and young people, who are less than 20 years. Leukemia is also a more prominent cause of cancer deaths.

    Types of Blood Cancer

    On spread of cancers cells in different tissues of blood, blood cancer can be commonly of three types. Each of them is being described shortly below.

    Leukemia

    Leukemia affects the bone marrow and blood. In it cancerous cells start developing in bone marrow or blood cells, which could later travel to the whole blood stream. It could be acute or chronic in nature. Acute form of Leukemia is a fast spreading cancer, whereas chronic form of Leukemia slowly spreads to blood cells. In chronic Leukemia, the Leukemia cells develop from mature, abnormal cells. These cells take time to turn into cancerous cell and also multiply slowly. Thus chronic Leukemia spreads slowly.

    Acute leukemia starts from early cells or young cells. These cells are also known as “blasts”. These young cells tend to divide quickly and frequently. Thus in acute leukemia cells multiply faster and thus the cancer also spreads fast.

    It is not very clear, that why Leukemia develops. But exposure to benzene or large dosages of radiation has shown development of Leukemia. If benzene is smoked in a cigarette, then it could increase risk of Leukemia. This type of Leukemia affects myeloid cells.

    Leukemia can be mainly of two types Lymphocytic Leukemia, which affects white blood cells called lymphocytes; and Myelogenous Leukemia or Myeloid or Myelocytic Leukemia, which affects white blood cells called granulocytes.

    • Lymphocytic Leukemia: 

      Lymphocytic Leukemia starts from young white cells known as “lymphoblasts” or “lymphocytes” in the blood marrow. It could be either acute or chronic depending on; it starts from young cells or mature cells. Chronic type is known as Chronic Lymphotic Leukemia and acute type is known as Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia. Lymphocytic Leukemia could be of several types.

    • Myelogenous Leukemia:  

      Myelogenous Leukemia starts from myeloid cells. It could be acute or chronic depending on the cells it starts from. Myelogenous Leukemia starting from young myeloid cells is known as Acute Myelogenous Leukemia, whereas Myelogenous Leukaemia starting from mature myeloid cellsis known as Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia. There are several types of Myelogenous Leukemia.

    Lymphoma

    Lymphoma is a type of blood cancer, which affects lymph system, especially the lymph nodes. It is mainly of two types. One is known as Hodgkin lymphoma and the other is Non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

    Hodgkin lymphoma spreads from one group of lymph nodes to another in an orderly manner. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma spreads through the whole lymphatic system in a non-orderly manner. The causes of lymphoma are not known as of now.

    Myeloma

    Myeloma is type of blood cancer affecting the plasma cells. It occurs due to overgrown cells. These cells overgrow and form a mass or tumor in the bone marrow. Bone marrow is found in the center of the bone. Here red cells, white blood cells, and platelets are made. Bone marrow is a spongy tissue.

    Most important risk factor associated with Myeloma is age. Elderly people are at higher risk of developing this disease. People under age 45 have minimal chances of having this disease, whereas people over 65 years are at higher risk. It is more common in men compared to women. It is twice as common in people of African Americans origin compared to people of Caucasians origin.

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