Blood cancer symptoms: Watch out for this sign at night – it could be the deadly disease2020-03-20
Blood cancer prevents your blood cells from functioning properly. Which symptom, that appears at night, could signal you may have the deadly disease?
When stem cells in your bone marrow – which creates red blood cells – mutates, the blood cells may grow abnormally or fail to die when they should – this is cancerous cells.
There are three main types of blood cancer: leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma.
These types of blood cancers affect different cells: leukaemia is the name given when white blood cells become cancerous; lymphoma happens certain white blood cells are affected; and myeloma is when plasma cells become cancerous.
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Blood cancers can be described as either “acute” or “chronic”.
Bloodwise – a UK charity dedicated to funding research into blood cancers – states “acute means an aggressive or fast-growing cancer that spreads quickly”.
The charity continued: “Chronic means a slower-growing or ‘indolent’ (lazy) cancer that takes longer to spread.”
Additionally, Bloodwise identify one symptom of blood cancer that appears during the night.
Drenching night sweats is one symptom of the blood cancer lymphoma.
It’s currently not known why this happens for this certain type of cancer.
The NHS states: “Night sweats are when you sweat so much that your night clothes and bedding are soaking wet, even though where you’re sleeping is cool.”
Bloodwise list other symptoms of blood cancer, which include unexplained bruising or bleeding.
In addition to these symptoms, Bloodwise list the following as symptoms of blood cancer:
- Unexplained weight loss
- Lumps or swellings
- Persistent, recurrent or severe infections
- Unexplained fever (38°C or above)
- Unexplained rash or itchy skin
- Bone, joint or abdominal pain
- Tiredness that doesn’t improve with rest or sleep
- Unusually pale complexion (pallor)
An unexplained rash, bruising or bleeding is caused by low levels of blood-clotting cells.
The rash could be purple in colour (purpura), and the bruising could be tiny pin-sized red spots on the skin, called petechiae.
Lumps and swelling may be caused by abnormal white blood cells building up in lymph nodes. This is most noticeable in the neck, groin and armpit.
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Some people may experience abdominal problems as abnormal blood cells build up in your spleen.
This may lead to feeling full after only eating a small amount of food.
Moreover, people may feel pain under their ribs on the left side, have bloating and swelling.
People may experience bone pain – specific to myeloma – which is caused by lytic lesions in the bones. This tends to happen in the back, ribs or hips.
Not everybody will experience the same symptoms – every person is different.
Unlike other cancers, lifestyle factors – such as diet and exercise – has little effect on your risk for developing blood cancer.
Instead, risk factors include exposure to radiation and a family history of the disease.
Risk factors vary depending on the different types of blood cancer.
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