Blood cancer refers to any number of different types of cancer that affect the blood. Our blood is made of many different types of blood cells, which are made in the bone marrow in the middle of our bones. There are three main types of blood cells, including red blood cells (which carry oxygen), platelets (which help blood to clot), and white blood cells (which fight infections).
When blood cancer occurs, normal blood cell development is affected by the uncontrolled growth of an abnormal kind of blood cell. These cancerous cells stop your blood from performing the functions it's supposed to do, like fighting infections or clotting your blood when cut.
There are 3 types of blood cancers:
Leukemia a type of cancer found in your blood and bone marrow is caused by the rapid production of abnormal white blood cells. The high number of abnormal white blood cells are not able to fight infection, and they impair the ability of the bone marrow to produce red blood cells and platelets.
- Lymphoma is a type of blood cancer that affects the lymphatic system, which removes excess fluids from your body and produces immune cells. Lymphocytes are a type of white blood cell that fight infection. Abnormal lymphocytes become lymphoma cells, which multiply and collect in your lymph nodes and other tissues. Over time, these cancerous cells impair your immune system.
- Myeloma is a cancer of the plasma cells. Plasma cells are white blood cells that produce disease- and infection-fighting antibodies in your body. Myeloma cells prevent the normal production of antibodies, leaving your body's immune system weakened and susceptible to infection.