Blood Cancer Awareness Month

Sep 13, 2016

Blood Cancer Awareness Web.jpgDid you know that approximately every 3-4 minutes someone in the United States is diagnosed with blood cancer? In 2016, it is estimated that 171,550 people within the United States alone will be diagnosed with one of the three major types of blood cancer, Lymphoma, Leukemia, and myeloma. Blood cancer can affect the bone marrow, blood cells, lymph nodes, and other parts of the lymphatic system, and abnormal blood cells can prevent your blood from performing many of its functions such as fighting off infections or preventing serious bleeding. Since September is Blood Cancer Awareness Month, we’d like to shed some light on these diseases to increase awareness.

Know the Symptoms

It is important to remember that though some of these symptoms may seem vague, and we often times relate these symptoms to the stress of daily life, you should always listen to your body and notify your physician of any abnormalities or changes.

Common symptoms of blood cancers can include:

 

  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Feeling weak or breathless
  • Tendency to bruise or bleed easily
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Swollen stomach or abdominal discomfort
  • Frequent and repeated infections
  • Fever/night sweats
  • Painful joints
  • Itchy skin
  • Bone pain (ribs/back)

 

Testing

More than likely, your doctor will run a Complete Blood Count (CBC) screening. A CBC is the most common test that gives a general idea of your overall health. A CBC will measure the number of red cells, white cells and platelets and levels of hemoglobin and hematocrit in your blood. Many different health conditions can cause increases and decreases in your blood counts. These blood cell counts give your doctor important clues about your health and can determine if you have a blood cancer, and/or alert the doctor if further testing is needed.

How Can You Help?

Awareness is a key factor in detecting any type cancer at an early stage. It is important for you to educate yourself and your loved ones on Blood Cancer symptoms for optimal chances of early detection. To make this easier, just remember to think T.E.S.T.

– Tiredness and exhaustion

E – Excessive sweating

– Sore bones and joints

– Terrible bruising and unusual bleeding

 

Do you have a loved one with blood cancer? Blood is the most precious gift that anyone can give to another person. It’s truly the gift of life. A decision to donate your blood can save a life, or even several if your blood is separated into its components, red cells, platelets, and plasma, which can be used individually for patients with specific conditions. Sometimes we feel helpless in the fight against blood cancer, but here is your chance to help out. Contact your local Red Cross to sign up and donate!

For a more in-depth report on blood cancers, please visit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. If you or a loved one is experiencing any symptoms of blood cancer, please call us today to schedule an appointment.

 

Sources: Leukemia & Lymphoma Society