Our body produces white blood cells to fight infections. They usually grow and divide in an orderly fashion. But when the bone marrow produces abnormal white blood cells, in large numbers, it is known as Leukaemia. In simple terms, Leukaemia is a cancer of the blood or bone marrow. Leukaemia is the most common cancer in children aged less than 15 years. It also affects people who are over 55 years of age. The different types of Leukaemia or blood cancer are:
- Chronic and Acute Leukaemia
- Lymphocytic and Myelogenous Leukaemia
- Acute Lymphocytic Leukaemia
- Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia
- Acute Myelogenous Leukaemia
- Chronic Myelogenous Leukaemia
The symptoms may vary for different kinds of Leukaemia, but some symptoms are common to all:
- Fever or chills
- Persistent fatigue, weakness
- Frequent or severe infections
- Losing weight without trying
- Swollen lymph nodes, enlarged liver or spleen
- Easy bleeding or bruising
- Recurrent nosebleeds
- Tiny red spots in the skin
- Excessive sweating, especially at night
- Bone pain or tenderness.
Leukaemia can develop due to certain risk factors such as previous cancer, genetic disorder, exposure to certain chemicals, smoking and family history of Leukemia.
Additional Read: Everything You Should Know About Hepatitis – Types & Symptoms
You can diagnose Leukaemia through physical examination, blood tests and bone marrow test. The treatment depends on the age, overall health, the type of Leukaemia, and whether it has spread to other parts of the body. The common treatment includes:
- Biological therapy
- Targeted therapy
- Radiation therapy
- Stem-cell transplant.
Lymphoma: When Lymphocytes are affected by the infection-fighting cells of our immune system, then it can lead to cancer – Lymphoma. The cells are in lymph nodes, spleen, thymus, bone marrow and other parts of the body. Lymphoma starts in infection-fighting lymphocytes whereas Leukemia starts in blood-forming cells inside bone marrow. There are two main types of Lymphoma:
Both types involve different types of lymphocyte cells. There are many causes of this disease:
- If you are above 60 years of age, you may catch Non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
- Hodgkin Lymphoma may occur to people between 15-40 years or older than 55 years.
- If you have HIV/AIDS or you had organ transplantation thus having a weak immune system.
- If you get infected by a virus such as Epstein-Barr, Hepatitis C
- It can be caused by genes also.
- It can reappear if you had been cured of Lymphoma in the past.
- Radiation treated for cancer can also cause Lymphoma.
The symptoms of this disease are:
- Fever, night sweats
- Unusual itching
- Pain in lymph nodes
- Shortness of breath
- Swelling of abdomen.
The treatment of Lymphoma depends on the type of Lymphoma you have. It can be diagnosed through a physical exam, blood tests, removing a sample of bone marrow for testing and imaging tests. The standard treatment includes; Active surveillance, Chemotherapy, Other Drug therapy, Radiation Therapy, Bone Marrow Transplant.
If you fear any one of the above symptoms, it is time for you to visit a cancer hospital in Delhi to start treatment immediately.