Our blood is not a simple water-like liquid, which fills the vessels. It presents an integral system, which consists of fluid component called plasma and different types of cells.
Blood cells are created from the stem cells, which locate in the bone marrow. These stem cells give rise to immature myeloid and lymphoid blasts.
Than myeloid blast-cells are divided into matured red blood cells, thrombocytes and some kinds of white blood cells.
Lymphoid blasts originate lymphocytes, which present an important part of the immune system, helping struggle against infection and harmful substances.
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Cancer is one of the most common causes of death in the modern society. It can affect not only breast, colon and ovaries, but also the bone marrow.
In the US about 60 000 new cases of blood cancer are diagnosed annually.
Leukemia (the medical term of blood cancer) occurs, when abnormal cells begin to grow in the bone marrow.
If cancerous changes influence on the marrow’s area, which normally produces lymphocytes, the disorder is called lymphocytic leukemia.
Transformation can also develop in the myeloid germ, causing myelogenous leukemia.
Depending on the rate of progression, blood cancer is also classified to acute and chronic leukemia.
In the acute cases cancerous cells are produced rapidly, crowding the blood flow in short period of time.
Chronic leukemia is not so aggressive and can exist in the body without causing any symptoms.
However both acute and chronic types eventually lead to replacement of normal blood cells to cancerous substitutes.
It's not clear enough, why do leukemia develops. According to recent studies, the problem is about genetic error, which can change cells' DNA.
Certain risk factors like chemotherapy, radiation, smoking and exposure to harmful agents (benzene) can dramatically boost your chances of leukemia occurrence.
How can you suspect leukemia development? Check out these symptoms of blood cancer:
#1. Easy bleeding and bruising – when the number of platelets drops down, you may notice bruises even after slight blow, little reddish spots on your body together with frequent gums and nose bleedings.
#2. Anemia – lack of red blood cells production leads to insufficient amount of hemoglobin. As a result, your body doesn't get enough oxygen. Anemia usually manifests in paleness, permanent tiredness, breathing shortness and lightheadedness.
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#3. Inexplicable weight loss – if you don't follow specific diet and don't intensify your workouts, significant weight loss may be a sign of serious health problems, including different cancers.
#4. Frequent infections – we've said that white blood cells are the integral part of your immune system. If their formation get suppressed, your body loses ability to cope with bacteria, viruses and fungus.
#5. Fever – high body temperature is a normal response of your body to different abnormalities. However, long-term fever may sometimes indicate cancer development.
#6. Enlarged lymph nodes – swollen painless lymph glands on the neck, groins and in the armpits are the warning signs of blood cancer.
#7. Fatigue – your chronic exhaustion and weakness can be a result of numerous health issues, including leukemia and other types of cancer.
It's easy to remember blood cancer symptoms with TEST abbreviation, that means:
T – tiredness
E – excessive perspiring
S – sore muscles and joints
T – terrifying bruises
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