Introduction to Blood Cancer

Executive Summary

Blood cancer, also known as hematologic cancer, initiates in the bone marrow, where the blood is produced. It mainly occurs due to the abnormal growth of the blood cells, and it further interrupts the functioning of the normal blood cells that fight against the infection and produces new blood cells. It is a type of malignant disorder. A total of three blood components are evolved from the redbone marrow, including white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. After the cell death, the cells are replaced with new cells that help the body function and grow. If the cells get mutated, it results in causing blood cancer. Blood cancers are not considered to be genetic diseases. However, individuals with smoking, radiation exposure, and chemicals such as benzene are at high risk for blood cancer.

What is Blood Cancer?

Blood Cancer is a group of malignant disorders with blood-forming tissues, including the bone marrow lowering the body’s ability to fight infection ​1​. The Redbone marrow consists of blood stem cells, which gives us about three components in the blood.

The white blood cells: These cells are a part of the immune system and fight infection. 

The Red blood cells: Carry oxygen to the whole body and help carry out carbon dioxide. 

The Platelets: They help the blood clot in the event of Injury 

The human body is made up of cells, and each cell has a DNA of its own. Usually, when the cell dies, It’s replaced with a new partition, which helps the body function and grows. If the DNA of a blood cell has a defect and does not die, it may or may not develop or mutate itself, leading to Blood Cancer ​2​. Blood cancers are not always the diseases that can be passed down to children because they can happen anytime in a person’s lifetime. However, people with smoking, radiation exposure, and chemicals such as benzene are at high risk for blood cancer. 

There are three main types of blood cancer: leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma. Each type originates from different types of blood cells and has distinct characteristics.

  1. Leukemia: Leukemia affects the white blood cells and their precursors. It occurs when abnormal white blood cells multiply rapidly, crowding out healthy cells. Leukemia is further classified into acute or chronic forms, depending on the speed of progression and the types of white blood cells affected.
  2. Lymphoma: Lymphoma originates in the lymphatic system, which includes the lymph nodes, spleen, thymus, and bone marrow. It occurs when abnormal lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell) multiply uncontrollably. Lymphomas are broadly categorized into two main types: Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
  3. Myeloma: Myeloma, also known as multiple myeloma, affects plasma cells, which are a type of white blood cell that produces antibodies. In myeloma, abnormal plasma cells accumulate in the bone marrow, interfering with the production of other healthy blood cells.

The exact causes of blood cancer are often unknown. However, certain risk factors increase the likelihood of developing these types of cancers, such as exposure to certain chemicals, radiation, family history, genetic mutations, and immune system disorders.

Blood Cancer Cell - an overview | ScienceDirect Topics


Common symptoms of blood cancer may include fatigue, unexplained weight loss, frequent infections, excessive bleeding or bruising, bone pain, swollen lymph nodes, and night sweats. However, these symptoms can vary depending on the type and stage of the cancer.

Diagnosis typically involves a combination of medical history evaluation, physical examination, blood tests, bone marrow biopsy, imaging scans, and genetic testing. Treatment options for blood cancer may include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy, targeted therapy, stem cell transplantation, or a combination of these approaches. The choice of treatment depends on various factors, including the type of blood cancer, stage, and the patient’s overall health.

Blood cancer can have a significant impact on the lives of patients and their loved ones. It requires comprehensive medical care, emotional support, and close monitoring. Ongoing research and advancements in treatment continue to improve the prognosis for many individuals diagnosed with blood cancer, offering hope for better outcomes in the future.


  1. 1.
    Chan G, Neel BG. Bad neighbours cause bad blood. Nature. Published online October 26, 2016:173-175. doi:10.1038/nature19479
  2. 2.
    Chang TY, Dvorak CC, Loh ML. Bedside to bench in juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia: insights into leukemogenesis from a rare pediatric leukemia. Blood. Published online October 16, 2014:2487-2497. doi:10.1182/blood-2014-03-300319