Blood Cancer Types
The main symptoms of blood cancer arise from mutations in stem cells located in the bone marrow or lymphatic system. As a result, cells divide uncontrollably and have an abnormal structure, spread throughout the body, disrupting the functioning of organs and tissues.
These pathologies are divided into three large groups:
- Leukemias are systemic lesions of hematopoiesis and peripheral blood cells. They do not have a specific localization of the tumor focus.
- Lymphomas are lesions of the lymphatic system, in which there is one or more pathological foci where cancerous lymphocyte cells are found.
- Paraproteinemic hemoblastoses.
Leukemias involve the bone marrow in the process, which in cancer produces immature hematopoietic cells – blasts. Lymphomas affect the lymph nodes and some of the internal organs.
For a long time, the pathology can be hidden, and the symptoms of hemoblastoses are similar to each other, so cytogenetic analyzes play a decisive role in the diagnosis.
It is quite possible to completely cure hemoblastoses, including through bone marrow transplantation, but this type of cancer is characterized by relapses, the return of all symptoms due to repeated damage to hematopoietic cells.
What are the types of blood cancer?
In addition to the division into three large types – leukemia, paraproteinemic hemoblastoses and lymphomas, within each group there is a division into types of tumor processes.
Lymphomas are divided into:
- Hodgkin’s (they are also lymphogranulomatosis), which have several subtypes depending on the absence or presence of special cells in the affected tissues –
- Non-Hodgkins. Malignancy can be low, medium, or high grade.
Leukemias are divided into two types:
- Acute leukemia is the proliferation of immature white blood cells that comprise more than 20% of the cells of the bone marrow or peripheral blood..
- Chronic leukemia is an increase of abnormal white blood cells. It differs from acute leukemia, and is categorized as myelogenous or lymphocytic.
Acute leukemias are divided into:
- Myeloid form – a type of cancer in which the bone marrow makes a large number of abnormal blood cells.
- Lymphoblastic form – a cancer of the lymphoid line of blood cells characterized by the development of large numbers of immature lymphocytes.
Chronic leukemias are divided into:
- Lymphocytic leukemia – a type of cancer that starts from white blood cells (called lymphocytes) in the bone marrow.
- Myelogenous leukemia – a form of leukemia characterized by the increased and unregulated growth of myeloid cells in the bone marrow and the accumulation of these cells in the blood.
Symptoms of different blood cancer types
In many ways, the signs of hemoblastoses depend on the stage of the disease. In cancer, there are several stages with key characteristics:
- Initial – malignant cells have just formed, they divide and accumulate, there are no external symptoms and manifestations.
- Expanded – typical symptoms of a particular type of blood cancer occur, changes in the blood are the most characteristic.
- Terminal – drugs stop helping, the process of normal hematopoiesis is completely suppressed, only cancer cells are formed.
- The stage of remission (complete or incomplete) with the restoration of normal parameters in the peripheral blood and in the bone marrow.
- The relapse stage is the return of symptoms of the disease with the appearance of cancer cells after a certain period of remission.
The main symptoms of blood cancer are typical for advanced and terminal stages. Although each hemoblastosis may have its own specific symptoms. In general, there are the following manifestations:
- frequent colds with complications due to a decrease in the immune functions of the blood;
- anemia that does not respond to therapy;
- soreness of bones and large joints;
- constant weakness, fatigue, pallor;
- attacks of dizziness;
- bruising and hemorrhages in the whites of the eyes;
- gum bleeding;
- severe pain in the bones;
- enlarged liver and spleen.
Lymphoma is also characterized by lymphadenopathy (constant and pronounced enlargement of the lymph nodes), night sweats, fever against the background of weight loss, itching of the skin.
Myeloid disease is characterized by bone fractures, increased thirst with large amounts of urine, kidney damage, anemia and frequent colds, bleeding from wounds and injection sites.
In many ways, the prognosis depends on the type of blood cancer and its stage, the existing comorbidities and the age of the patient. In children with lymphoblastic leukemia, the five-year survival rate is up to 90%, among adults – about 40%.
With myeloblastic forms, the survival rate of children is up to 70%, among the elderly – up to 12%.
The highest survival rates are for chronic lymphocytic leukemia, they reach 50-80%, and for myeloid leukemia – up to 90%. But if blast crises develop, survival prognosis is poor.