WebMD.com defines blood cancers as cancers that affect blood cells and bone marrow — the spongy tissue inside your bones where blood cells are made. These cancers change the way blood cells behave and how well they work.
There are three major types of blood cancer: Leukaemia, Lymphoma and Myeloma,
These cancers cause your bone marrow and lymphatic system to make blood cells that don’t work as well as they should. They all affect different types of white blood cells, and they act in different ways.
People who have leukaemia make a lot of white blood cells that can’t fight infections. Leukaemia is divided into four types based on the kind of white blood cell it affects and whether it grows quickly (acute) or slowly (chronic).
This is a cancer of the lymph system. This network of vessels includes your lymph nodes, spleen, and thymus gland. The vessels store and carry white blood cells to help your body fight infections.
Lymphomas start in white blood cells called lymphocytes. There are two main types of lymphoma: Hodgkin’s lymphoma and Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
This is a cancer of the plasma cells in bone marrow. Plasma cells are a type of white blood cell that makes antibodies.
Myeloma cells spread through the bone marrow. They can damage your bones and crowd out healthy blood cells. These cells also make antibodies that can’t fight off infections.
This cancer is often called multiple myeloma because it’s found in many parts of your bone marrow.
How to reduce the risk of blood cancers?
Sadly, there’s not a lot of specific advice available for this type of cancer.
An article from Orlando Health outlines some measures you can take to reduce your risks, albeit recognising that risks are also partly random and partly genetic.
“Scientists aren’t sure of the cause of many blood cancers, but staying away from factors that increase your risk can help. Avoid exposure to radiation, chemicals such as pesticides or benzene, and to smoking or tobacco in any form. Additional lifestyle behaviours, such as staying active and eating a healthy diet can help reduce your risk for developing a variety of cancers and other diseases.”
In “How Not to Die” some interesting results are given, arising from various studies.
• An Oxford study showed that those who consume a plant-based diet are less likely to develop all forms of cancer, with greatest protection (half the number) against blood cancers.
• In a study in 2009 and 2012 of people with MGUS (Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance) and ‘smoldering’ multiple myeloma: half responded positively to curcumin supplements.
• Poultry is associated with increased risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The thought is that this could be because of antibiotics (in the US) fed to chicken and turkeys, or cancer-causing viruses in the chicken, especially if not well-cooked. Viruses can cause cancer by directly inserting a cancer-causing gene into a host’s DNA.
So, in summary, the best advice we have is to follow general guidance about cancer prevention, and if you take note of those studies above, move your diet substantially towards being plant-based, with perhaps a daily turmeric or curcumin supplement.
Link to my post on “Cancer”
Link to my post on “How Not to Die”
Link to my post on “Turmeric”