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What is Blood Cancer?

What Is Blood Cancer?

Blood cancers differ from other types of cancer because they are a result of the cells that make blood. The majority of kansas city southern railway kidney cancer kansas city southern railway chronic lymphocytic leukemia kansas city southern railway stomach cancer kansas city southern railway emphysema blood cancer ( cancers begin in the bone marrow which is the soft, spongy material that forms inside the bones of most. The Marrow produces stem cells, which transform into white and red blood cells, as well as platelets. These cells help transport oxygen throughout the body and fight off infection. They also control bleeding. The risk of developing blood cancer is when abnormal cells grow out of control and overtake normal blood cells.

The most commonly encountered blood cancers are leukemia lymphoma, and multiple myeloma. Other types include Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS) or myeloproliferative Neoplasms (MPNs). Each kind of blood cancer is caused by changes (mutations) in the DNA in blood cells.

Certain blood cancers progress slowly and don’t require immediate treatment. Some are more aggressive and do need treatment. We use advanced diagnostics at the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center to determine the nature of the blood cancer and how quickly it is growing.

We also provide information about how to face the emotional and practical challenges associated with being diagnosed with blood cancer. Sign up for our weekly support email in case you’ve recently been diagnosed with blood cancer. It has clear and simple details, as well as true stories from people who have blood cancer. You can also listen to our Blood Cancer Heart to Heart podcasts.

What is the process of diagnosing blood cancer?

The diagnosis of blood cancer is made using a variety tests and procedures. These tests are designed to measure the number of blood cells, look for genetic mutations, and other indicators of disease. In general, most blood cancers start in the bone marrow or lymphatic system, which is a group of tissues and organs which produce blood cells and manage the levels of fluids. They develop when abnormal blood cells multiply out of control and cause disruption to the normal functions of these blood-forming cell types or other tissues.

Certain blood cancers, including lymphoma or leukemia, are difficult to identify as they typically don’t show any symptoms until the cancer is advanced or is mistaken for a cold or flu. Other types of cancer such as myeloma start in plasma cells, which are a form of white blood cell that helps the body fight infection. These cancers can also affect the spleen, liver and kidneys making them difficult to identify and treat.

A physical exam and a review your medical history are often the first steps in diagnosing blood cancer. Your doctor may request imaging tests, such as X-rays or CT scans to check for lymph nodes that are larger that could be a sign of lymphoma and leukemia. A biopsy can confirm a blood cancer diagnosis. This involves removing the tissue sample to be examined under microscope. Other tests can be used to determine the stage of blood cancer, which is related to the speed or extent at which much the cancer has spread.

What Are the Risk Factors for Blood Cancer?

The majority of blood cancers start in the bone marrow, the soft, spongy tissue that is found in most bones and where blood cells are made. They are distinct from solid tumors (like those found in the breast or lung), which are diagnosed and kansas city southern railway blood cancer treated based upon the size and spread of the cancer. The doctors stage blood cancers based on the amount and type of abnormal cells, as well as their genetic mutations.

A variety of factors increase the risk of getting blood cancers, like age and family history. As we age, leukemia and lymphoma are more prevalent. People with certain genetic disorders, such as Down syndrome, Ataxia-Telangiectasia and Bloom syndrome, have a higher risk of developing leukemia and myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). People who have been through other types of cancer might be at a higher risk of developing myeloma or other MDS.

Radiation or chemicals can also increase the risk of certain blood cancers. Myeloma for instance is more prevalent in people who have been in contact with benzene and asbestos, as well as the herbicide Agent Orange. Myeloma is more frequent in people working as machinists, pipefitters, or electricians.

Some health conditions, such as anemia and high blood pressure can also increase the likelihood of developing a blood cancer. Treatments for cancer can also increase blood clot risk particularly if they involve chemotherapy, surgery, or the use catheters to administer drugs or hormones.

What Are the Treatment Options for Blood Cancer?

All blood cancers begin as stem cells within bone marrow. Cancer affects the normal development of stem cells, which means they can’t produce healthy blood cells. To treat them, you may need to receive high doses of chemotherapy drugs to kill cancerous cells. They then provide your body with new, healthy stem cells that can grow into blood cells. This is known as a stem cell transplant or a blood and bone marrow transplant.

Some people with slow-growing blood cancer don’t need treatment straight but can be monitored through regular check-ups and blood tests. Your doctor will discuss your options with you.

HCA Midwest Health offers a diverse range of blood cancer treatments. Clinical trials are another method we provide innovative treatments. You can participate in a trial that could lead to a new generation of treatment for your specific type of blood cancer. You can also be treated at home.