What is Blood Cancer or disease?
Stem cells divide and mature into the different cell types that make up our blood. This includes red blood cells (for carrying oxygen), platelets (to help blood clot) and white blood cells (for fighting infections). If you have a blood disease, it’s likely that there is a problem with a stage in this process. This means that some of the cells in your blood cannot properly perform the job they are designed to do.
Many of these problems occur because of a faulty gene that was inherited at birth. However, others, such as myelodysplastic syndromes and autoimmune diseases, are not inherited and can occur without an obvious reason.
There are lots of different blood diseases and they are treated in different ways depending on their type and severity. A few of them can develop into blood cancers over time. Only some people with blood diseases will need a stem cell transplant – usually only if other treatments have been unsuccessful.
Some of the more common blood cancers and diseases that may need a stem cell transplant can be viewed here.