The term blood cancer encompasses disorders that affect the blood, bone marrow and the lymphatic system. In majority of the blood cancers, the development of the red blood cells is altered leading to uncontrolled division of cells. This results in abnormal and cancerous blood cells, which then prevents the normal functioning of the blood cells – defence or prevention of serious bleeding.
There are three main groups of blood cancers – leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma.
Leukaemia affects the white blood cells, which play a vital role in lending infection-fighting capabilities to the immune system. Leukaemia produces a high number of immature white blood cells and impacts other blood cells which help balance immune system.
Lymphoma, meanwhile, affects the lymphatic system, which also helps protect the human body from infections and diseases. Lymphoma can develop various parts of the body, including bone marrow, blood and other organs.
Finally, Myeloma is a cancer of the plasma cells, which are found in the bone marrow. Plasma cells produce antibodies which help fight infection. And when plasma cells become myelomas, they prevent the normal production of antibodies, leaving body’s immune system weakened.