Blood Cancer

Blood cancers occur when normal blood cell production is interrupted by the uncontrolled growth of an abnormal type of blood cell. There are three main types of blood cancer:

Leukaemia:

Leukaemia starts in the bone marrow where developing blood calls (usually white cells) undergo a malignant change. These cells then crowd the marrow, affecting the body’s ability to produce normal blood cells.

Leukaemia occurs in males and females. It is estimated that in 2017, 3,875 new cases of leukaemia (2,358 males and 1,517 females) will be diagnosed in Australia.

Lymphoma:

Lymphomas are blood cancers that affect the lymphatic system, part of the immune system which protects the body against disease and infection. Lymphomas occur when lymphocites (a type of white blood cell) undergo a malignant change and multiply in an uncontrolled way. The lymphoma cells then accumulate to form tumours in the lymph nodes, which are located throughout the body. There are two types of lymphoma; Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma, which can be distinguished by the specific lymphocites involved.

Lymphoma occurs in males and females. It is estimated that in 2017, 6,232 new cases of lymphoma (3,574 males and 2,658 females) will be diagnosed, making it the sixth most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australia.

Myeloma:

Myeloma is a cancer that develops in plasma cells (a type of white cell) of the bone marrow. The usual role of plasma cells is to help fight infection.

Myeloma occurs in males and females. It is estimated that in 2017, 1,816 new cases of myeloma (1,025 males and 791 females) will be diagnosed.

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