Cancer is not only a disease that can happen to anyone; it can happen to anyone at any time. Most people don’t even know they are in the early stages of cancer until the disease progresses to more advanced settings and can be fatal. That is why it is important to know the signs and symptoms of blood cancer and the prevention methods.

When you think about blood cancers, your mind probably goes straight to leukemia. While leukemia is the most common, other blood cancers are just as deadly.

Blood cancer is a term used to describe different types of cancer that begin in the cells that produce blood. Some of the most common blood cancers include acute myeloid leukemia (AML), chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).

While these blood cancers are often fatal, there are effective treatments that can save lives. This comprehensive guide will discuss why you should screen for blood cancer, its symptoms, and what causes them.

Screening for blood cancer, also known as blood work or cancer screening, has long been a standard patient recommendation. It helps identify cancers early so they can be cured with fewer side effects and a better chance of survival.

Blood Cancer

What is blood cancer?

Blood cancer is a term used to describe cancer that begins in the cells that produce blood. While leukemia is the most common, other blood cancers are just as deadly.

You may know that the term “blood cancer” includes leukemia and lymphoma but has many other types of blood cancers.

Blood cancer comes from the name of the organ in which it starts. For example, leukemia begins in the bone marrow, lymphoma forms in lymph nodes, and multiple myeloma starts in the plasma cells.

Why you should be screening for blood cancer

Most people aren’t aware of the fact that there are other types of blood cancers besides leukemia.

There are five main types of blood cancers:

Acute myeloid leukemia (AML)

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)

Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML)

Multiple myeloma (MM)

Hodgkin’s lymphoma (HL)

While some of these diseases are more common than others, they are all very serious and require immediate treatment. If left untreated, the cancer can kill. Because of this, you must understand what these blood cancers are and why you should screen for them.

Who should be screened for blood cancer?

While most of the population can get leukemia or another blood cancer by accident, several factors determine who is at risk.

Your age and ethnicity can play a major role in determining if you have blood cancer. For example, African Americans and Hispanics are more likely to have CML than Caucasians.

Your family history can also increase your risk of blood cancer. For example, having a sibling with leukemia can increase your chances of getting the disease.

Another risk factor for blood cancer is whether you were born with a genetic mutation. For example, having sickle cell anemia increases your chances of developing AML.

What are the symptoms of blood cancer?

Blood cancer is a cancer that begins in the bone marrow or lymph nodes. While leukemia is the most common blood cancer, there are others.

Here are some symptoms to look for:

  • Pain, swelling, redness, or soreness of the arm or leg
  • A lump or a bump on the skin
  • Fever, fatigue, or loss of appetite
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Changes in the color or texture of the skin or eyes
  • Swollen glands or easy bruising
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising

You can also “smell” cancer. Certain blood cancers cause a distinct odor.

What are some signs of blood cancer?

While blood cancers are rare, you should always be vigilant about any of the following symptoms:

  • Persistent fatigue, night sweats, or weight loss
  • Weakness
  • Trouble breathing or shortness of breath
  • Abdominal pain
  • Headaches or dizziness
  • Losing hair
  • Bleeding from the nose, mouth, or other body openings
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Persistent sore throat
  • Cough that lasts more than three weeks
  • Fatigue or unexplained bruising

You should also speak with your doctor if you notice any of the following:

  • Rapid heartbeat or heart palpitations
  • Unexplained fever, chills, or nausea
  • Anemia, or a decrease in the number of red blood cells
  • Shortness of breath
  • Loss of appetite or weight loss
  • Problems swallowing or problems with bowel movements
  • Skin rash or hives
  • Jaundice or yellowing of the eyes or skin

If you’ve noticed any of these symptoms, it’s best to consult a doctor immediately.

Frequently Asked Questions Blood Cancer

Q: What kind of screening should someone look into?

A: If you are concerned about your health, you should talk to your doctor.

Q: How do I know if I’m at risk?

A: A history of blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma can run in families.

Q: What kind of testing should someone have?

A: If you are concerned about your health, you should talk to your doctor.

Q: What causes blood cancer?

A: The cause of blood cancer isn’t known for certain. However, genetics, environmental chemicals, and infections are all suspected factors in developing some blood cancers.

Q: Can cancer cells be found before symptoms appear?

A: Yes, some cancers can be found before symptoms appear.

Q: How long before symptoms appear can cancer cells be found?

A: Some cancers can be found before symptoms appear.

Top Myths About Blood Cancer

  1. Screening for blood cancer is not necessary.
  2. There are no known symptoms of blood cancer.
  3. Screening for blood cancer is too expensive.


It would be best if you were screened for blood cancer every two years. Why? Because blood cancers often cause symptoms that can look just like other conditions. Many blood cancers are out there, but they all share a few characteristics. Some may present with no symptoms, while others only with vague symptoms. Most are rare and hard to diagnose. But they are very treatable. So when you wonder about your health, it’s worth checking out blood cancer. You can read more about blood cancer and what to do about it by reading this article.


I blog because it’s fun! My blog is all about making a healthy living as easy and accessible as possible. I enjoy sharing my favorite recipes and fitness tips with readers. I live in Northern Virginia and spend my free time running, hiking, cooking, and trying to keep fit.