Blood Cancer is related with Malignancy in the bone marrow or blood, plasma and lymphatic system which is referred as Leukemia, Myeloma, and Lymphoma respectively. Leukemia grows within the bone marrow which reduces the ability of bone marrow to make blood cells – red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Myeloma is a plasma cells’ cancer that makes the body incapable to fight with different kinds of diseases weakening your immune system. Myelomas generate a substance that weakens bones, and produce abnormal proteins that can cause symptoms in other parts of the body. While Lymphoma, is the growth of the lymph nodes which disturbs the body’s capability to fight with infections.
These abnormal productions of blood cells obstruct the blood from accomplishing its functions, such as preventing severe bleeding, fighting against infections. It is difficult to pin point the causes of blood cancer.
However, some of the probable causes of blood cancer are
Family history or heredity is one of the possible causes which increase the risks of blood cancer than those who do not have cancer-related family history. Actually, the cancer is caused because of abnormal gene that passes from one generation to another. Blood cancer transmits from one generation to another because the abnormal gene leading to cancer gets inherited. But approximately, 10% out of all cancers directly transforms from gene defects known as mutations which is hereditary.
Because of genetic abnormality, like an abnormality on chromosome 22 which is also referred as the Philadelphia chromosome, one may suffer from blood cancer. In some cases, it has been found that genetic abnormality which means abnormality in DNA present from birth develops into blood cancers especially, acute leukemia. Research has also found that due to translocations of genetic substance between chromosome 8 and several other chromosomes Myeloproliferative syndrome occurs. This situations crops up because of expansion of white blood cells referred as Myeloproliferative disorder which certainly turns to lymphoma.
The risks of blood cancer multiplies among those who smoke comparing with non smokers. Cancer-causing substances present in tobacco enters the bloodstream and then spread to different parts of the body.
Monoclonal Gammopathy of Undetermined Significance (MGUS)
In USA, one percent of the people develop multiple Myeloma because of MGUS. MGUS is in fact a non-cancerous state in which a number of types of antibodies are developed in the body which is also known as M protein. Yet, it may turn into cancerous one if not cured on time. So, if you have MGUS, you need a regular checkups to monitor the amount of M protein in your body.
Certain blood problems
If you have different blood related disease like Polycythemia vera (a disorder of the bone marrow), Idiopathic myelofibrosis, Thrombocythemia, and Myelodysplatic syndrome which expands the risk of getting blood cancer especially Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). The risks increase if you are undergoing certain medication like chemotherapy or radiation for the blood problems.
Contact with Carcinogenic chemicals and Radiation
Exposure to radiation and carcinogenic chemicals also boost the risk of getting blood cancer. These rays and chemicals are knows as cancer-causing factors- Carcinogens. For instance, in Nagasaki and Hiroshima, Japan, the atomic bomb survivors who were exposed to the Chernobyl nuclear mishap became more prone to fall victim for blood cancer.
Prior Radiation Therapy
Nearly all types of leukemia such as Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML), Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML), and Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) are the result of exposure to prior radiation therapies. Yet, the hazards of these diseases caused by radiation therapies depend on factors like – the quantity of radiation that entered the bone marrow, the dosage of radiation, the total exposure of the bone marrow to radiation and more.
Chemo is identified as increasing the risks of cancer more than radiation therapy. Researchers have discovered that the cancer Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS) turn to Acute Myelogenous leukemia (AML) after certain dosage of chemotherapy. The risk of blood cancer becomes higher after the higher dose of the therapy as well as the extended treatment time. Studies found that leukemia risk manifolds and turns higher after around 2 years of treatment with Alkylating agents.
Once in a blue moon, HIV infected people too have the risks of getting blood cancer. According to Dr Bruce Dezube, MD at Havard Medical School, HIV infection causes a disproportion in development factors including the growth of hormones which causes cells of bone marrow to grow. And, infrequently some of the bone marrow cells turn out to be leukemic.