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How do hematologic cancers affect the body?

Hematologic cancers primarily affect the body by interfering with the production of normal blood cells in the bone marrow and lymphatic system. The bone marrow is the site of production for all three of the main types of blood cells: red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. The lymphatic system (primarily the lymph nodes) is also responsible for the production of white blood cells. Blood cancers originate from cells in the lymphatic system and bone marrow, and as the cells continue to multiply and spread throughout these tissues, they limit the ability of lymphatic system and bone marrow to produce normal cells. Because there are so few normal cells and because the cancer cells have minimal or nonexistent functionality, the blood becomes unable to perform its normal functions, such as forming clots to stop bleeding, fighting off infections, and transporting oxygen to all the body's cells.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.