Blood and blood cancer
Blood is formed from the bone marrow by a spongy tissue located in the spaces inside the bones and distributed throughout the body. Red blood cells (red blood cells), white blood cells (leukocytes), and platelets are cellular components of blood that are suspended in a fluid called plasma.
Red blood cells contain hemoglobin, which carries oxygen around the body and provides energy.
White blood cells are cells that are responsible for protecting our body from infection. Neutrophils, lymphocytes, monocytes, eosinophils, and basophils are the main subtypes of leukocytes and have a special function to protect against infection. Platelets are responsible for controlling bleeding.
When blood cells start to grow abnormally out of control and interfere with the normal functioning of the blood cells, a condition known as blood cancer.
Hematological cancer, known as blood cancer, usually starts in the bone marrow or lymph nodes and then spreads throughout the body.
Here’s a brief overview of the types of blood cancer and the treatments available.
Myeloma, lymphoma, and leukemia are the three main cancers:
- Myeloma: Myeloma, also known as multiple myeloma, is a type of blood cancer that develops from blood plasma cells. The white blood cells in the bone marrow make plasma cells. These cells are responsible for protecting our bodies by producing protective proteins known as immunoglobulins. When plasma cells develop cancer, they grow into bone and produce abnormal immunoglobulins. This causes bone weakness, bone pain, and fractures, as well as an increase in calcium in the blood. This immunoglobulin travels through the blood and is filtered by the kidneys, causing kidney damage. This abnormal protein is detected in the blood and urine by electrophoresis tests such as the M band. Plasma cell overgrowth suppresses normal blood cell formation, causes anemia, increases the risk of infection and sometimes low platelets.
- Lymphoma: Lymphoma is an abnormal growth of lymphocytes because it usually swells in the lymph nodes in the neck, armpits, and groin.
There are two main types of lymphoma:
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Hodgkin’s lymphoma
This lymphoma has more than 50 subtypes. This is diagnosed through a biopsy or swelling of the lymph nodes. Subtypes were performed through immunohistochemical tests and molecular biopsy tests. Accurate subtypes are essential for effective treatment.
Leukemia: Leukemia is a type of blood cancer that starts in the bone marrow and spreads to the blood. For example, cancer cells can be seen on normal blood tests, complete blood counts, and peripheral smears.
Excessive growth of cancer cells inhibits the normal formation of blood cells. Anemia manifests as weakness, fever / increased risk of infection, and bleeding due to a low platelet count. Bone pain, unusual swelling can also be seen.
The good news is, the cure rate for blood cancer is quite high. Proper care and treatment can ensure that the majority of patients are completely cancer-free. Years of research have actually increased the chances of survival for blood cancer patients. According to a report from the National Institutes of Health, about two-thirds of people diagnosed with leukemia will likely live five years or more. The cure rates were higher for Hodgkin’s lymphoma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, 85 and 70 percent, respectively.
The fact is that blood cancer has a high cure rate, but this depends entirely on the type of cancer, its age, and the stage of the disease, which shows how aggressively cancer has spread. Cancer cure rates vary depending on these factors. There are blood cancers such as myeloma or chronic lymphocytic leukemia which can be controlled effectively so that the patient can lead a normal and productive life for many years.
When it comes to cancer, it’s always like expecting the unexpected, as some high-risk patients are even known to have survived for a long time. At the same time, it is known that children die prematurely from blood cancers, especially leukemia. Genomic factors play an important role in determining whether this form of blood cancer is curable or not.
With targeted oral treatment, chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) now resembles other chronic diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), which mainly affects children, has a high cure rate for them, but we need to do more for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia so that they can be cured best.
Blood cancer in a nutshell: Classification and investigation
September marks International Blood Cancer Awareness Month, an annual blood cancer awareness and support campaign. Therefore, in order to increase general knowledge and understanding of these diseases, we returned to basics by reviewing blood cancer laboratory classifications and tests.
Blood cancer classification
Blood cancers are classified into myeloid (related to bone marrow) or lymphoid (related to the tissue that produces lymphocytes and antibody) disorders based on the hematopoietic lineage in which the disorder occurs. They can also be divided into one of the following groups:
Leukemia is cancer in which malignant hematopoietic cells are found in the bone marrow and peripheral blood. Leukemia can be classified as myeloid or lymphoid and acute or chronic based on the degree of disease incidence. In acute leukemia, there is an abnormal spread of blasts (poorly differentiated immature cells) and a mature cardiac arrest may occur. In contrast, chronic leukemia is not associated with a blast because malignant cells continue to mature during hematopoiesis. There are four main categories of leukemia: AML (acute myeloid leukemia), ALL (acute lymphoid leukemia), CML (chronic myeloid leukemia), and CLL (chronic lymphoid leukemia).
Lymphoma affects the lymph lines and is a chronic malignancy. Malignant lymphoid cells usually accumulate and are confined to lymphoid organs, causing lymphomatous static tumors. When the affected lymphoid organs are severely blocked and accumulate with malignant cells, they can force infiltration into organs outside the lymphoid tissue such as peripheral blood and bone marrow. Lymphoma is broadly classified into Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) based on whether the malignancy contains Reed-Sternberg cells (pure HL abnormal lymphocytes).
Myelodysplastic syndrome is a myeloid malignancy in which immature myeloid progenitor cells accumulate in the bone marrow. As a result, these immature cells die before maturing into effector cells. This results in ineffective hematopoiesis and a corresponding decrease in red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.
Multiple myeloma is a lymphoid malignancy in which there is an abnormal proliferation of malignant plasma cells. In health care, plasma cells are needed to produce antibodies. In multiple myeloma, malignant plasma cells synthesize and secrete excessive amounts of monoclonal immunoglobulins called paraproteins. With excessive plasma concentrations, paraproteins can seriously damage a number of organs in the tissue.
Myeloproliferative disorders are myeloid disorders in which there is an abnormal overproduction of myeloid cells in the bone marrow, most commonly causing erythrocytosis, thrombocytosis, neutrophilia, and basophilia. The most important myeloproliferative diseases are CML, polycythemia vera, myelofibrosis, and essential thrombocythemia.
Investigation of blood cancers
The role of the pathology laboratory is very important in the study of blood cancer. Accurately diagnosing malignancy is important because treatment strategies vary widely and the inability to properly diagnose patients can have a major impact on their prognosis. There are many different tests and analysis techniques that can be used to check for suspected blood cancer, including the following:
Complete blood count (FBC) provides data on indices for red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. This parameter is important because it details the number of each cell line and helps determine bone marrow involvement. In some cases, an FBC result is one of the first suspected signs of blood cancer and further investigation is needed based on the FBC analysis.
Immunophenotyping analyzes the expression of antigen markers expressed on the cell surface. This marker is called the differentiation marker group (CD). The special markers assigned to each cell line allow the cell population to be identified. Certain CD markers must be present in health, but malignancy can cause loss of expression, overexpression, and abnormal expression of certain markers that should not be present in a healthy person. By comparing the results with the expected normal expression, a distinction can be made between the healthy cell population and the malignant cell population.
Cytogenetics studies cells at the molecular level because some types of blood cancers are caused by chromosome mutations. Genetic mutations can be identified by analyzing the calotype and chromosome structure of the patient.
A histological biopsy (eg lymph node) can reveal the tissue architecture, including the types of cells present. This will help determine the presence and/or spread of malignancy.
Cancer blood tests: Lab tests used in cancer diagnosis
Blood tests for cancer and other laboratory tests can help your doctor diagnose cancer. Reduce your anxiety by learning about blood cancer tests and how to use them.
If you are suspected of having cancer, your doctor may order certain blood tests for cancer or other laboratory tests, such as: Such as a urine test or biopsy of the suspicious area to help make your diagnosis easier.
With the exception of blood cancer, blood tests usually can’t fully determine whether you have cancer or another non-cancerous condition. However, they can give your doctor clues about what’s going on in your body.
Because your doctor has ordered blood tests for cancer to look for signs of cancer, this does not mean that you have been diagnosed with cancer and that you have cancer. Find out what your doctor is looking for by doing a blood test for cancer.
What your doctor is looking for
A sample taken for a blood test is checked for signs of cancer in a laboratory. The sample can show cancer cells, proteins, or other substances produced by cancer. Blood tests can also give your doctor an idea of
Examples of blood tests to diagnose cancer include:
- Complete blood count (CBC). This general blood test measures the number of different types of blood cells in a blood sample. This test can detect blood cancer if too many or too few types of blood cells or abnormal cells are detected. A bone marrow biopsy can help confirm a diagnosis of blood cancer.
- Tumor marker test. Tumor markers are chemicals made by tumor cells present in your blood. However, tumor markers are also produced by some of the normal cells in your body, and their levels can be significantly elevated in non-cancerous conditions. This limits the ability of tumor marker tests to help diagnose cancer. Only in very rare cases, such a test is considered sufficient to make a clear cancer diagnosis.
- A test for circulating tumor cells. A recently developed blood test is used to look for cells that have detached from the original cancer site and taken into the blood. Circulating tumor cell tests have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration to monitor people with breast, colon, or prostate cancer. This test is rarely used in clinical settings.
Blood Cancer Symptoms and Signs
Each type of blood cancer is different, but they can have some of the same symptoms and signs.
Some people may have no symptoms until the disease develops. Or sometimes the symptoms can be mistaken for a bad cold or flu.
- Cough or chest pain
- Fever or chills
- Frequent infections
- Itchy skin or rash
- Loss of appetite or nausea
- Night sweats
- Weakness and constant fatigue
- hard to breathe
Signs of Blood Cancer
Various types of cancer attack the cells that make up your blood. Your symptoms usually come on so slowly that you may not even notice them. And some people don’t have symptoms.
However, there are a few things to consider with the most common types of blood cancer.
Poor clotting: Platelets are the cells that make your blood clot. If your body is not working enough, a small cut may bleed more than usual, or you may experience frequent nose bleeds. You can also have:
- Unusual bruising
- Bleeding gums
- Small red spots on your skin from damaged blood vessels
- Hard times
- Stool with black or red stripes.
Other Symptoms: Because your white blood cells don’t fight infection well, you get sick more often and take longer to get over them. You can get a lot of fever and sweat at night.
Cancer cells can accumulate in the lymph nodes, tonsils, liver, and spleen and cause swelling. You may feel lumps in your neck or armpits, or feel full after eating a little. You can lose a lot of weight without trying.