Skip to content

What is Blood Cancer?

leukemia blood cancer

Approximately 10% of all newly diagnosed cases of cancer every year are of blood cancer. More than 1.2 million people have either active blood cancer or cancer, which is in remission in the United States alone. About 30% of all kids with blood cancer have leukemia which is one of the most common blood cancers for kids to get. There are 58,300 deaths in America alone from blood cancer every year.

This makes blood cancer one of the most common and deadly form of cancer. Therefore, it is important for you to know all about this form of cancer and how crucial it is to get necessary medical care quickly. In this detailed article by Ketto, you will get answers to all your questions and doubts about different types of blood cancers.

The medical and scientific communities formally refer to blood cancer as hematologic cancer. Many types of these cancers currently exist. All of these cancers develop in your bone marrow. You receive an official blood cancer diagnosis when the DNA in the blood cells in your bone marrow mutates and becomes warped. When these cells divide into daughter cells, they inherit the mutated DNA and do not behave or look like healthy blood cells. These cells tend to cluster together and interrupt/interfere with normal blood cell functions.

They are white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. White blood cells comprise the immune system. The immune system protects you from diseases and infections by fighting bacteria or viruses which you are exposed to. Red blood cells transport nutrients, oxygen, and other gases. Gases that your body and organs need to survive. Platelets help your blood clot when you get cut.

If you think this is interesting, this article is for you because it describes the different types of blood cancer, symptoms, and treatments in detail.

Important Facts About Blood Cancer

If you were diagnosed with any type of blood cancer today, your survival outlook is perfect. Thanks to several years of government and privately funded research, you can expect to live at least five years after treatment if you are diagnosed with leukemia.

Approximately 63% of leukemia patients survive treatment. Your survival prospects are even higher if you are diagnosed with any of the two types of lymphoma. According to the latest data, 70% of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma patients survive for at least five years after treatment, and 85.9% of Hodgkin’s lymphoma patients survive for at least five years after surgery.

Blood cancer still kills far too many people. In the United States alone, one person dies from blood cancer every 9 minutes. That is approximately 20,722 people in 2019 just in America. Various governmental and private research organizations and institutions find this to be unacceptable. They are continually researching to find treatments that will help more people survive therapy for blood cancer and live much longer. They (organizations and institutions) are also trying to find cures for various types of blood cancer.

It is impossible to thoroughly and accurately detect blood cancer in the initial stages. This is because doctors have not formulated any useful blood cancer screening tests since the cancers are very complicated and hard to understand. This is unfortunate because screening can lead to preventative measures that keep many people from developing cancer. This is the case with breast, colon, and colorectal cancer (to name a few!) Generally, most blood cancer patients do not seek help until they experience severe symptoms because that’s when they know they have it (blood cancer.)

Blood cancer does carry red flags, which should never be overlooked. For example, you should see your general practitioner immediately if you experience any one of the common symptoms of blood cancer. They are mentioned in the symptoms section below.

Composition of Blood

Blood is a unique thick liquid with critical properties that are necessary to sustain all living things which move (trees, plants, vines, and other types of flora do not count because they don’t move.) It plays a vital role in an organism’s health because it carries vital nutrients and oxygen to different parts of its body and its vital organs. This is especially true for humans. Blood is a complex substance which is made out of four distinct elements:

  • Plasma
  • Red blood cells
  • White blood cells
  • Platelets


This is the liquid portion of your blood. Your plasma is what makes it possible for vital nutrients and gases to travel to various parts of your body and organs. Plasma also transports waste products and gases to the kidneys, colon, and lungs, where they are either excreted or exhaled out. Plasma also transports the proteins and molecules that your body and organs need to function properly to keep you alive. It helps regulate your body temperature and maintains the right fluid to electrolyte ratio in your body.

Red blood cells

These cells carry oxygen to your lungs and organ and body tissues.

White blood cells

Collectively, they form your immune system, which is crucial in fighting off illnesses, diseases, and viruses, which may even kill you.


When you get cut, your platelets (or small cells) will form around the inside of the cut and form a seal of thickened blood, which will keep you from passing out or dying from too much blood loss.

Types | Causes & Symptoms | Diagnosis | Treatment | FAQs