Symptoms

Home/Symptoms

In most cases blood cancer means one of the three main oncological pathologies: leucosis, lymphoma or multiple myeloma. In some cases the disease is accidentally revealed during regular blood tests, while in other cases the patient develops various symptoms which make him visit a doctor. Described below are the symptoms of blood cancer.

Symptoms of leucosis
Leucosis is a blood tumour where the abnormal cells gradually or precipitously violate the work of the healthy blood cells. Leucosis involves excessive production of abnormal leukocytes that have “stuck” at early stages of development. These leukocytes cannot carry out the function of normal and mature leukocytes. Besides, the gradual accumulation of abnormal leukocytes in the red bone marrow displaces other kinds of cells and interferes with the production of normal erythrocytes and platelets.

There two types of leucosis – the acute and chronic one. In the former case the changes take place rapidly, in the latter one – slowly. In the acute form of the disease the symptoms may appear after several days or months after the disease has set in. The patients with the chronic form of the disease symptoms may be absent at all for a long time.

The symptoms of blood cancer, and leucosis in particular, are non-specific, i.e., are common in other diseases as well.

The symptoms include the following:

  • Fast fatigability, breathlessness or generally bad health. In most cases these symptoms are caused by the decreased number of erythrocytes (anaemia). This leads to insufficient transport of oxygen to tissues and organs which is shown as weakness and fast fatigability.
  • Specific infections. Leukocytic cells are not able to fight infections successfully and as a result there is an increased vulnerability of the body towards bacterial and viral infections.
  • Specific infections. Leukocytic cells are not able to fight infections successfully and as a result there is an increased vulnerability of the body towards bacterial and viral infections.
  • Unexplainable rise of bodily temperature. The abnormal leukocytes sometimes may stimulate the secretion of chemicals that make the body raise its temperature.
  • Unexplained bruises and lasting bleedings. The excessive production of abnormal leukocytes leads to decreased production of healthy platelets which play the key role in stopping bleeding. The decreasing of the number of platelets (thrombocytopenia) may take the form of nose bleeding, heavy menstruations, bleeding gums, bruises or small red spots on skin (petechiae).
  • Pain in bones and joints which appears as a result of the accumulation of a big number of leukocytic cells in the red bone marrow which is located in bones and around joints.
  • Increasing of lymph nodes which takes place because of the same reason – the accumulation of a big number of leukocytic cells in them.
  • Stomach discomfort can also be caused by the accumulation of a large number of leukocytic cells in liver and spleen which causes their increase in size and unpleasant feelings.
  • Headache and other neurological symptoms of blood cancer (convulsions, dizziness, impaired vision, nausea, tingling and numbness) are, again,caused by the accumulation of a large amount of leukocyte cells in the fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord.These symptoms are more characteristic in the case of the acute leucosis.

 

Symptoms of lymphoma
Lymphoma is a cancer of lymph nodes and platelets. There are two kinds of the disease: Hodgkin lymphomas and non-Hodgkin lymphomas. Hodgkin lymphomas are somewhat less frequent than non-Hodgkin lymphomas. The fsymptoms of lymphoma include painless swelling of lymph nodes, weight loss, fever, chills and night sweat. The patients with Hodgkin lymphomas may experience itching and lack of appetite. The patients with non-Hodgkin lymphomas may complain about a feeling of fullness or increased pressure in the abdomen, tiredness, cough and chest pain.

Symptoms of multiple myeloma
Multiple myeloma is a cancer arising from of blood plasma cells. The disease is characterized by a big number of abnormal plasma cells. On early stages there are no symptoms of multiple myeloma. During the progression of the disease the symptoms may include liver problems, pain of ribs, or back, tiredness (due to a low content of iron in the body), frequent infections as well as the tingling or numbness in the body. Myeloma may cause thickening of blood showing as lack of breath, chest pain and stupefaction. Finally, it is important to note that the diagnosis “blood cancer” cannot be established just based on the symptoms – the setting of the diagnosis requires a range of analysis and diagnostic procedures. In any case, if the above-mentioned symptoms appear it is worth seeing a doctor.