Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center
Blood DisordersPeer Review Status: Internally Reviewed by Cancer Center Staff
First Published: 1995
Last Review Date: July 2005
Introduction: Blood Cells
Blood cells, consisting of red cells, white cells, and platelets, are made in the bone marrow, a soft, spongy tissue found in the center of large bones. In healthy people, millions of new blood cells are produced each hour to carry out important body functions. red blood cells (erythrocytes) carry oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. white blood cells (leukocytes) fight infections and illness. platelets (thrombocytes) cause the blood to clot, a process that stops bleeding when there is an injury.
The body carefully regulates the activity of bone marrow to produce the correct number of each type of cell. If this regulation process is disrupted and the marrow produces too many or too few cells, a blood disorder occurs. The blood disorders discussed are:
All of these blood disorders require medical attention. Depending on your treatment, there may be long periods of time when you experience no symptoms, but you should always be alert to any changes that occur with your condition. If your symptoms arise or worsen, contact your doctor immediately. Also, feel free to contact your doctor with questions you have about your disorder, the treatment you are receiving, or any other concerns you may have.
NOTE: Underlined words are defined in the glossary.
Last modification date:
Mon Aug 7 13:09:54 2006