What are the causes of blood cancers? What science has discovered so far

What are the causes of blood cancers?  What science has discovered so far

the the reasons Of blood cancers remains largely undiscovered, but researchers continue to study, as shown by several studies presented in Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH). Even the first signs of a hematoma are often vague and non-specific, but it is important to talk to a doctor in the presence of: Fever or low-grade fever (Especially in the afternoon or night) e feel helpless Which continues for no apparent reason for more than two weeks; Bone or joint pain That doesn’t back down. Painless swelling of the superficial lymph node From the neck, axilla or groin. Loss of appetite and weight loss Sudden and unexplained; Bleeding under the skin (small red spots called petechiae) and/or Mucosal bleeding Spontaneous (epistaxis, bleeding and ulcers in the oral cavity).

More than 100 different subtypes

Another thing to know is that there are dozens of different subtypes of blood tumors: “More than 100 different types of blood tumors belonging to three large major groups are currently well characterized,” he explains. Paolo Corradini, President of the Italian Society of Hematology (Sie) and Director of the Department of Hematology at the National Cancer Institute of the IRCCS Foundation in Milan: Leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma are the most well-known among non-experts. Less common is the knowledge of blood tumors that belong to the groups of myelodysplastic syndromes or chronic myeloproliferative neoplasms.

Weak immune system

“Among the possible reasons there are Weakness of the immune system Which could help in the emergence of tumors due to the partial or complete inability to eliminate new tumors that arose early, or could facilitate the contamination and persistence of some infectious agents (especially viruses) – he says. Emanuele Angelucci, Vice President C —. This is the case, for example People undergoing organ transplants For this reason under immunosuppressive therapy; Subordinate AIDS patients And some rare cases of diseases that weaken immune defenses.”

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Infection with Epstein-Barr virus

Epstein-Barr virus infection (EBV) can increase the risk of developing a blood tumor, especially in cases of weak immune system, because it favors the chronicity of the virus and It helps them integrate stably into the lymphocytes (They are the ‘heart’ of our defences), and they favor the development of tumors,” explains Angelucci, director of the Hematology and Cellular Therapies Unit at the IRCCS San Martino Polyclinic Hospital in Genoa.

Infection with hepatitis C virus

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) can increase the risk of developing non-Hodgkin lymphoma – continues Angelucci -. The virus does not integrate into lymphocytes (it is closely related to hepatocytes, i.e. liver cells), But it can encourage the birth of a certain type of lymphoma (Marginal), through chronic inflammatory immune stimulation.”

Chemical agents

The known causes of some types of leukemia are chemical agents such as: Benzene and formaldehyde Others are found, for example, in pesticides. “Who are highly exposed to herbicides based on Glyphosate It shows that the risk of developing non-Hodgkin lymphoma is 41% higher. Sergio Siragusa, Vice President of Sie—. The reason lies in the fact that these agents are capable of this Changing the genome of rapidly proliferating cells, such as those that lead to the formation of mature lymphocytes. Lymphomas, in fact, are diseases characterized by their development Cells of lymphoid origin Which transform when they migrate to the lymph nodes to become mature, immunocompetent cells, and acquire changes (for example due to chemical agents) that turn them into tumor (lymphoblastic) cells. A similar mechanism occurs If substances such as benzene or formaldehyde come into contact with blood cell precursors in the bone marrow (Hematopoietic stem cells): In this case, transformation occurs in the cells from which all blood cells arise, and leukemia can arise.

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Radiation works partly like chemicals “I am able to,” says Sergio Siragusa, Director of the Faculty of Specialization in Hematology at the Palermo Clinic Changing the cell genome, not only determines abnormal proliferation, but also reduces the ability of each cell to avoid becoming a tumor cell. The effect of radiation has been known for more than a century, when early radiologists had high rates of blood tumors because they were not protected by radiation. Modern individual protection systems».


The relationship between pollution and cancer“Hematology, especially hematology, is controversial,” concludes Siragusa. In fact, although there is a clear relationship between an increased incidence of lymphoma in areas with high rates of environmental pollution from chemicals, the role of the “ordinary” pollution of today’s urban communities (exhaust gases, radiation from cell towers) It is not statistically associated with an increased incidence of hematological malignancies. This may also be partly explained by the fact that a minimal dose (chemical or radiological) is probably necessary to act on the genome of hematopoietic stem cells. In general, it should be remembered that the new occupational protection standards reduce the risk of developing blood cancers caused by foreign agents.

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