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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.

Continue Learning about Hematologic/Blood Cancers

Hematologic/Blood Cancers

Caused when our bone marrow makes too many blood cells, cancers of the blood lead to anemia, frequent infections and excessive bleeding.Common types of blood cancer, also called hematologic cancer, are leukemia, lymphoma and multi...

ple myeloma. These three cancers form when abnormal white blood cells crowd out the healthy ones that are responsible for fighting infections. Other myeloma disorders cause too many red blood cells and excessive platelets to be produced. When this happens, we become more susceptible to abnormal blood clotting or excessive bleeding. Although the exact cause of blood cancers are unknown, your risk increases as you get older and if you are exposed to excessive radiation or certain chemicals. You are also more vulnerable to these diseases if you are a male. See your doctor if you have fever and night sweats, pain in your stomach, or swollen lymph nodes.
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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.