Anaemia is a common disease in many parts of the world. For a common man, it is mainly characterised by deficiency of iron in the body. But medically, it is the deficiency of iron carrying protein - haemoglobin which is responsible for transportation of oxygen and nutrients in the body. All this takes place in the RED BLOOD CELLS or RBCs.

But Sickle Cell Anaemia is different. It is a genetic disorder which results in RBCs to become misshapen and break down. Because of which the transportation of oxygen and nutrients is hampered. And patient suffers from the symptoms of anaemia such as weakness, pallor, pain in joints etc.

Sickle cell anaemia can make life more difficult, particularly for a child, who will need to deal with delayed sexual maturity and stunted growth. The patient will need to avoid things that can cause a crisis, such as certain medication that restricts blood vessels, high altitudes, and strenuous exercise.

About 80% of sickle cell disease cases are believed to occur in Sub-Saharan Africa. Sickle cell is found more frequently in persons of Middle Eastern, Indian, Mediterranean and African heritage because those geographic regions are most prone to malaria. The gene variant for sickle cell disease is related to malaria, not skin colour.
In African population, presence of sickle cell gene is an example of natural selection. Those people are specifically prone to malarial parasite which feeds upon the normal spherical RBC. But in people with sickle cell anaemia the sickle shaped RBC is not the best host for the parasite. The sickled cell and the parasite are filtered out by the spleen and destroyed, lessening the impact of the parasitic infection. Therefore, people with sickle cell trait never have a high infection load that results in malaria. Thus, they are comparatively immune to malaria which is one of the biggest killer in many African countries.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many types of cancer are there?
There are more than 100 types of known cancer types.

What are the early symptoms of blood cancer?
The most common symptoms of the blood cancer include: fever or chills,
chronic feeling of fatigue and tiredness, loss of appetite, frequent infections
and night sweats.

Why does the diagnosis seem to delay in most of the cases?
Cancer cells multiply literally billions of times before the symptoms start to
show. That is why some methods of screening and prevention are important.

What is bone marrow?
Bone marrow is the soft centre of the bones where blood cells are formed.
When these immature blood cells start dividing rapidly it causes the
overcrowding of abnormal blood cells as a result of which cancer develops.

What should be done in case of any of these symptoms?
Since the blood cancer symptoms are quite vague, one should see the
doctor if the symptoms are unusual for the person as well as last for a longer

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