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Blood Cancer

Treating blood cancers

Leukemia, Lymphoma, Myeloma, Myelodysplastic Syndrome, Myeloproliferative Disorders

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Blood cancers, also known as hematologic malignancies, are cancers of the body's blood-forming and immune systems — the bone marrow and lymphatic tissues.

As in all cancers, hematologic malignancies arise from cells that become abnormal and are produced in excessive amounts. The abnormal growth interferes with the body's production of healthy blood cells, making the body unable to protect itself against infections.

Leukemia
When you have leukemia, your bone marrow produces abnormal white blood cells. These are the blood cells that help you fight infection.  There are four main types of leukemia including:
  • Acute lymphoblastic (lymphocytic) leukemia (ALL)
  • Acute myeloid (myelogenous) leukemia (AML)
  • Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)
  • Chronic myeloid (myelogenous) leukemia (CML).
Leukemia is sometimes considered a childhood disease, but it is also common in adults. About 47,000 new cases of leukemia are reported in the United States each year.

Lymphoma
Lymphoma is a type of blood cancer that forms in the lymphatic system, which is part of your immune system.  There are two common types of lymphoma known as Hodgkin lymphoma and Non-Hodgkin lymphoma.  If you have either form of lymphoma, your body may find it more difficult to fight off infections.  New treatments are constantly being developed to increase the success rates of therapy and prevent long-term side effects.  More than 70,000 cases of lymphoma are reported in the United States each year.

Myeloma
Myeloma is a type of blood cancer that begins in the bone marrow and affects your plasma cells.  When you have myeloma, the cancerous plasma cells multiply abnormally, crowding out healthy plasma cells.   About 90 percent of myeloma patients have "multiple myeloma" which means the disease is present in multiple locations in their body.  Heath complications caused by myeloma can include bone destruction, kidney damage, compromised immune system and red blood cell count.    

When should you call your doctor?
Many of the early symptoms of blood cancers, including leukemia and lymphoma, are similar to other common illnesses, such as the flu. These can include headache, fatigue, weakness, fever and joint pain. If any of these symptoms continue over time, see your doctor.

Advanced symptoms are more noticeable and can be caused by conditions other than blood cancers. Contact your doctor if you experience any of the following:
  • Swelling or a painless lump in your neck, armpit or groin
  • Swelling in your abdomen
  • Frequent infections
  • Unexpected weight loss
  • Abnormal bruising or bleeding

For more information
To learn more or to schedule an appointment, call 612-672-7272.

Blood Cancer Physicians and Providers

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Our Providers Make the Difference
Fairview features nearly 4,000 providers practicing at over 200 locations throughout the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area and beyond. Fairview Clinics, University of Minnesota Physicians and our independent partner clinics provide an exceptional care experience, while lowering the overall costs of health care.
 
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