Conditions of the Blood

The links and information below appear courtesy of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

  • Leukemia – Leukemia is divided into four major categories: acute myelogenous, acute lymphocytic, chronic myelogenous and chronic lymphocytic leukemias
    • Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML)
      In AML, the original acute leukemia cell goes on to form about a trillion more leukemia cells. These cells are described as "nonfunctional" because they do not work like normal cells. They also crowd out the normal cells in the marrow; in turn, this causes a decrease in the number of new normal cells made in the marrow.
    • Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL)
      In ALL, the original acute leukemia cell goes on to form about a trillion more leukemia cells. These cells are described as "nonfunctional" because they do not work like normal cells. They also crowd out the normal cells in the marrow; in turn, this causes a decrease in the number of new normal cells made in the marrow.
    • Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML)
      In CML, the leukemia cell that starts the disease makes blood cells (red cells, white cells and platelets) that function almost like normal cells. The number of red cells is usually less than normal, resulting in anemia. But many white cells and sometimes many platelets are still made. Even though the white cells are nearly normal in how they work, their counts are high and continue to rise. This can cause serious problems if the patient does not get treatment. If untreated, the white cell count can rise so high that blood flow slows down and anemia becomes severe.
    • Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL)
      In CLL, the leukemia cell that starts the disease makes too many lymphocytes that do not function. These cells replace normal cells in the marrow and lymph nodes. They interfere with the work of normal lymphocytes, which weakens the patient's immune response. The high number of leukemia cells in the marrow may crowd out normal blood-forming cells and lead to a low red cell count (anemia). A very high number of leukemia cells building up in the marrow also can lead to low neutrophil and platelet counts.
  • Lymphoma – Lymphoma is the name for a group of blood cancers that develop in the lymphatic system. Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) are the two main types of lymphoma.
    • Hodgkin Lymphoma
      Is distinguished from other types of lymphoma by the presence of Reed-Sternberg cells (named for the scientists who first identified them).
    • Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL)
      NHL represents a diverse group of diseases that are distinguished by the characteristics of the cancer cells associated with each disease type. Most people with NHL have a B-cell type of NHL (about 85 percent). The others have a T-cell type or an NK-cell type of lymphoma.
  • Myeloma – Myeloma is a cancer of the plasma cells, a type of white cell found in many tissues of the body, but primarily in the bone marrow. Plasma cells are part of the body's immune system. About 20,180 Americans will be diagnosed with myeloma this year. It is estimated that approximately 69,598 people in the United States are living with or are in remission from myeloma.
  • Myelodysplastic Syndromes – MDS is a term that is used to describe a group of cancers of the blood and marrow. There are several types of MDS; typically categorized by low- and high-risk.
  • Myeloproliferative Disorders – Learn about this group of blood diseases characterized by chronic increases in some or all of the blood cells and includes: Polycythemia vera, Essential (or primary) thrombocythemia and Idiopathic myelofibrosis.
  • Managing Your Cancer – Find information and support for living with other blood cancers.

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