Blood cancer: Night sweats could be a warning sign for Leukemia

Sleep is essential to make a person’s immune system strong. However, not everyone gets the precious luxury of sleeping once they suffer from night sweats.

Such symptom that appears at night could mean they have leukemia. Leukemia is a blood cancer resulting from an increase of white blood cells (WBCs) produced in the bone marrow.

The number of white blood cells overpopulates the red blood cells that the body needs. The extra white blood cells don’t work right. The most cancers of blood-forming tissues, hindering the body’s ability to combat infection.

How does leukemia start?

Leukemia starts when irregular white blood cells are generated in the bone marrow. This kind of cancer is prevalent among children than in adults. According to the recent estimates, at least 6,000 Americans suffer from leukemia, and more than 1,500 leukemia sufferers die each year.

Catching leukemia earlier allows you to have more treatment options. Yearly screening tests, according to the American Cancer Society, is recommended to detect cancers early. However, locating leukemia at an early stage won’t be easy. Consulting a doctor, and through screening can identify the Big C.  

Signs and symptoms can be detected when one is asleep

Cancer cells, in some cases, make the system release chemicals that cause the brain to increase the body temperature, leading to night sweats. Such night time sweats are a common symptom of cancers, specially blood-associated ones like leukemia.

Other early warning signs and symptoms of leukemia to look for, according to Mayo Clinic, include fever, sudden weight loss, tiny red spots in the skin, bone pain or tenderness, swollen lymph nodes, frequent nosebleeds and easy bruising or bleeding.

The signs and symptoms of leukemia are quite vague and not specific. In some instances, leukemia is diagnosed all through blood exams taken for different conditions.

Who are at risk of getting leukemia?

Scientists remain unaware of what causes the DNA structure in blood cells to mutate, which leads to blood cancer.

Some people are at risk of this type of cancer. The factors include gender, ethnicity, family history, radiation or chemical exposure, and some health situations and treatments. However, the risk of most leukemias increases with age.

Children below five years old and adults ages 50 years old and above are usually at risk of developing leukemia. Adolescents and young adults, or those who are in their mid-20s, have lower risks. About four in every 10 adults are also at risk of blood cancer. Leukemia isn’t always a popular kind of disease, and an average person’s chance of getting it is about one in 1000. 

Treating leukemia

Hematologist-oncologists commonly deal with patients with leukemia. These are doctors who focus on blood disorders and cancer. The remedy depends on the type and degree of disease.

Blood cancer needs the following treatments, which are: chemotherapy, radiation therapy, stem cell transplantation, biological or immune therapy, and target therapy.

 Image courtesy of Colin Behrens/Pixabay

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