What are the symptoms of blood cancer?

Blood cancer can produce a variety of symptoms, or none at all.

Common symptoms of blood cancer

Symptoms of blood cancer can include:

  • Abdominal pain, especially in the upper abdomen
  • Bone fractures (spontaneous or resulting from minimal trauma)
  • Bone or joint pain
  • Easy bleeding or bruising
  • Enlarged liver and glands, such as the spleen and lymph nodes
  • Fatigue
  • Fever and chills
  • Frequent infections
  • Frequent urination
  • Nausea, which may be described as feelings of wooziness, queasiness, retching, sea-sickness, car-sickness or upset stomach
  • Night sweats
  • Unexplained weight loss

Serious symptoms that might indicate a life-threatening condition

In some cases, blood cancer can be life threatening, especially if severe infections or uncontrollable bleeding occur. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you, or someone you are with, have any of these life-threatening symptoms including:

  • Bluish coloration of the lips or fingernails
  • Change in level of consciousness or alertness, such as passing out or unresponsiveness
  • Change in mental status or sudden behavior change, such as confusion, delirium, lethargy, hallucinations and delusions
  • Chest pain, chest tightness, chest pressure, palpitations
  • High fever (higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Rapid heart rate (tachycardia)
  • Respiratory or breathing problems, such as shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, labored breathing, wheezing
  • Seizure
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Uncontrolled or heavy bleeding

INTRODUCTION

What is blood cancer?

Blood cancer represents a large group of different malignancies. This group includes cancers of the bone marrow, blood, and lymphatic system, which includes lymph nodes, lymphatic vessels, tonsils, thymus, spleen, and digestive tract lymphoid tissue. Leukemia and myeloma, which start in the bone marrow, and lymphoma, which starts in the lymphatic system, are the most common types of blood cance... Read more about blood cancerintroduction

CAUSES

What causes blood cancer?

Although the specific cause of blood cancer is not known, a number of factors are associated with its development. Many blood cancers are more common among older adults. Some tend to run in families. Certain infections also appear to increase the risk of some blood cancers, as does a weakened immune system.

What are the risk factors for blood cancer?

A number of factors... Read more about blood cancercauses

TREATMENTS

How is blood cancer treated?

Goal of cancer treatment

The goal of blood cancer treatment is to permanently cure the cancer or to bring about a complete remission of the disease. Remission means that there is no longer any sign of the disease in the body, although it may recur or relapse later.

Some blood cancers grow slowly enough that delaying treatment may be an option. If the decision to delay t... Read more about blood cancertreatments

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Annual Review Date: Aug 23, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

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This Article is Filed Under: Cancer