11 Common Symptoms of Blood Cancer

Blood cancer occurs when abnormal blood cells grow uncontrollably. As a result, this affects the production and functions of blood cells, like preventing excessive bleeding and fighting off infections.

To learn more about the different types of blood cancer and the common symptoms that come with them, read on!

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Now, some people may not be familiar with such a term, but its three types might ring a bell:

  • Leukemia – a type of blood cancer found in the bone marrow caused by the abnormally rapid production of white blood cells.
  • Lymphoma – (Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin) a blood cancer that involves the lymphatic system. Lymphoma cells are a result of the abnormal production of lymphocytes, which highly affects the immune system.
  • Myeloma – the blood cancer of the plasma cells. Myeloma cells impede antibody production, leaving the body with a debilitated immune system and making it vulnerable to infections.

Bristol Myers Squib records about 1.24 million cases of blood cancer annually. The more common symptoms include the following…

1. Fevers

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Fevers are a common symptom cancer patients experience. Furthermore, fevers might appear in the early stages of blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma and even last longer than usual.

Even if you don’t have fevers, our next symptom still might pin you down…

2. Fatigue

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Like fevers, chronic fatigue is a prevalent sign of cancer, especially in all types of blood cancer. Simple things like sleeping for hours or putting on cozy pajamas rarely reduce this type of fatigue. Many other things can also induce fatigue, like cancer treatment, medication, or stress.

The next symptom is one of the least pleasing…

3. Appetite Loss

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Most cancer patients experience a significant drop in appetite during the course of the condition, which makes it difficult for the body to recover. Apart from symptoms, appetite loss can also be a symptom of treatment.

Could appetite loss be one of the factors at play in our next symptom?

4. Sudden Weight Loss

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As the cancerous cells consume away the body’s energy, significant weight loss can occur. According to a British study, about 19 percent of people suffering from leukemia consider emaciation as a critical factor in their diagnosis.

Too much of a good thing can be bad, as the next slide suggests…

5. Night Sweats

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While sweating is a natural body function, it can become a problem when it occurs too much. Cancer patients, particularly those with leukemia or lymphoma, can experience night perspirations. This can wake them up only to find their sheets drenched in sweat.

As the next symptom shows, buildups are never a good sign…

6. Bone & Joint Pain

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Leukemia patients usually experience a sharp or dull pain in the bone or joints as a result of a buildup of cancer cells in the bone marrow. Those with myeloma, on the other hand, typically experience a longer, more profound pain in the back or ribs as a result of the myeloma cells damaging and weakening the bones.

Bones and joints won’t be the only thing affected by buildups, though…

7. Abdominal Discomfort

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When a buildup of leukemia cells surrounds the spleen and liver, the organs can become swollen and as a result, can cause severe pain.

The abdominal area won’t be the only thing throbbing, though…

8. Headaches

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Cancer-induced headaches deliver a different kind of pain, which can feel like a throbbing, sharp, or dull sensation that envelops a part or the entirety of the head for long periods of time. Those with leukemia and non-Hodgkins lymphoma frequently suffer from these severe headaches, which may exacerbate their other symptoms…

9. Swollen Lymph Nodes

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Swollen lymph nodes are lymphoma’s principal symptom, and they appear as lumps in the neck, underarms, or groin area. While these nodes may grow slowly, they are usually not as painful as other symptoms.

But don’t let the calm fool you…

10. Shortness Of Breath

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Swollen lymph nodes may affect some organs, like the lungs, which can cause shortness of breath. Those afflicted with T-cell acute lymphocytic leukemia, on the other hand, suffer breathlessness as a result of the leukemia cells building up around the thymus gland.

Some symptoms manifest themselves externally, as the last symptom demonstrates…

11. Skin Problems

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Patients with blood cancer sometimes suffer from different sorts of skin problems. For example, those with leukemia are prone to rashes, bruising, and even bleeding, while lymphoma patients typically experience dry, itchy, and scaley skin.


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