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Blood-borne cancers, or leukemias, are cancers of the blood cells. They start in the bone marrow, the soft tissue in the center of bones where blood cells are made. With leukemia, the bone marrow begins to make abnormal cells that crowd out the normal blood cells.
Cancer in scientific terms is defined as the abnormal growth of cells. This can be malignant or benign. An extra growth of fat is considered cancer called a lipoma, but not life threatening. In reference to blood-borne cancers, it is the abnormal growth of our blood cells. In general, we have three lines of blood cells: white blood cells (help fight off infection), red blood cells (carry nutrients to cells), and platelets (help blood clot). Each of these three lines has multiple precursor cells that mature into the final product. The production of these cells starts in the bone marrow. Abnormal growth of any of these cells, whether mature or immature, is cancer. Typically know as leukemia or lymphoma. Because of the large number of different cells, that is why there are different types of lymphomas and leukemia’s and has different symptoms and different response to treatments.
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