There is a vast range of blood disorders that affect people all across the world. Different disorders have different symptoms and affect different types of blood cell so it’s important to understand the differences between them. Here, we put together a quick guide to some of the most common hematologic diseases.
Anaemia is one of the most recognisable and most common hematologic diseases. People with anaemia usually have fewer red blood cells than most people. Whilst those with mild anaemia usually experience no symptoms, people who suffer from more severe anaemia can experience fatigue, pale skin, and shortness of breath with exertion.
There are a number of different forms of anaemia, and each one will affect the individual is a slightly different way. These include:
– Iron-deficiency anaemia; Iron is needed for the body to produce red blood cells. Some women often find that they suffer from a lower iron intake during menstruation so there are times when their symptoms may be worse depending on their menstrual cycle. Treatment for this type of anaemia includes iron pills, or rarely, blood transfusion.
– Anemia of chronic disease; People with chronic illnesses such as kidney disease often develop anaemia. Although people with this form of anaemia often don’t require treatment, injections of a synthetic hormone, epoetin alfa can be used to stimulate the production of blood cells.
– Aplastic anaemia; For people with aplastic anaemia, their bone marrow does not produce enough blood cells. This usually develops in conjunction with a number of other conditions including hepatitis, Epstein-Barr, or HIV. Your doctor will usually prescribe medications, blood transfusions, and even a bone marrow transplant if you suffer from this type of anaemia.
– Autoimmune hemolytic anaemia; This condition causes your immune system to become overactive and destroy the body’s own red blood cells which then causes anaemia. You may be advised to take medicines that suppress the immune system to treat the condition.
– Sickle cell anaemia; This is a genetic condition that usually affects families have come from South or Central America, Africa, the Caribbean islands, Saudi Arabia, India, and Mediterranean countries. The red blood cells of people with this type of anaemia are sticky and stiff so that their blood does not flow correctly.
Lymphoma isn’t always well known, but it is one of the most common hematologic diseases around. Lymphoma is a form of blood cancer that develops in the lymph system. People with this condition usually find that their white blood cells become malignant, meaning they multiply and spread abnormally. This common hematologic disease is usually split into two groups: Hodgkin’s lymphoma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Most people with the condition can be treated with chemotherapy and/or radiation.
Like lymphoma, this other common hematologic disease is another form of blood cancer. Also similarly to lymphoma, it causes the white blood cells to become malignant and multiply rapidly inside bone marrow. There are a number of grades of leukaemia, from acute (rapid and severe) to chronic (slowly progressing). Many people are treated with chemotherapy or stem cell transplantation (bone marrow transplant). Many may also be treated with both of these techniques.
If you would like any further information on the most common hematologic diseases, talk to us. We have one of the best hospitals in Marbella and our medical professionals are always on hand to advise and assist you as needed.