There are two forms of blood cancers, depending on the type of blood cells that are impacted by cancer:
- Leukaemia is a type of cancer that affects white blood cells.
- Myeloma- the cancer of plasma cells
Leukaemia is characterised by the fast creation of aberrant white blood cells, which are unable to fight infections effectively. This early production causes bone marrow to become crowded, impairing the bone marrow's ability to create red blood cells and platelets. It is divided into two categories based on the stage of cancer progression: acute and chronic. The severe form spreads quickly and necessitates rapid treatment. Leukaemia is classified into two types based on the cells that are affected: myeloid and lymphoid. As a result of the various combinations that are possible, leukaemia can be classified into four categories.
Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL)
Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML)
Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL)
Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML)
Myeloma is a type of cancer that affects plasma cells. Plasma cells are a type of white blood cell that helps the body identify pathogenic bacteria and foreign things by creating antibodies. Plasma cells grow and overwhelm the bone marrow in myeloma, affecting the formation of blood cells in the bone marrow. Myeloma can develop in any location where there is blood plasma, as it can occur at multiple places; it is also called multiple myeloma.
Myeloma cells continue to make antibodies, but only defective ones that can interfere with organ function, such as the kidneys. Monoclonal proteins, or M-proteins, are defective antibodies or proteins. Myeloma impairs the body's capacity to fight infections, making it difficult to stay healthy. As the tumour grows, the bone structure will deteriorate, resulting in bone weakening or fracture.