Medically reviewed by Martha Wadleigh, MD Leukemia arises from malfunctions in stem cells within the bone marrow that cause abnormal white blood cells to flood into the bloodstream. Leukemias are classified as either myelogenous (also called myeloid) or lymphocytic, depending on which types of white blood cells are affected. What is the difference between these types … Read more
More than 60,000 new cases of adult leukemia are diagnosed in the U.S. each year. Although it is one of the more common childhood cancers, leukemia occurs more often in older adults. How does leukemia develop in adults? Leukemia is a cancer of the body’s blood-forming tissues that results in large numbers of abnormal or immature white blood … Read more
The most commonly diagnosed blood cancers are non-Hodgkin lymphoma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, acute myeloid leukemia, acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and multiple myeloma. Here’s what you need to know about each type of cancer. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) is a type of cancer that forms in the lymph system, part of the body’s immune system. There … Read more
Medically reviewed by Jennifer Brown, MD Most patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) now have several options for first-line therapy, thanks to new clinical trial results and novel targeted agents. Many patients with CLL, a slowly progressive blood cancer in which the bone marrow makes too many white blood cells, don’t need immediate treatment but … Read more
Medically reviewed by David P. Steensma, MD Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are a group of diseases of the blood and marrow that result in the body being unable to produce enough healthy, mature blood cells. MDS develops when the blood stem cells found in the bone marrow become injured (i.e., they acquire a mutation in the … Read more
Precursor conditions are early phases of blood diseases that may develop into cancers such as lymphoma, leukemia, Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia, and multiple myeloma. Most people do not experience symptoms, and since doctors rarely screen for precursor conditions, they are often diagnosed after routine blood tests. “Many diagnoses are purely incidental,” says Irene Ghobrial, MD, co-principal investigator … Read more
Leukemia is a blood cancer that results when stem cells in the bone marrow produce abnormal blood cells.
Leukemia is a type of cancer that starts in early forms of white blood cells. White blood cells are cells that typically fight infections.
Treatment of blood-related, or hematologic, cancers is seizing on insights into the basic genetic wiring of cancer cells and the body’s system for finding and attacking those cells. Research presentations at the annual American Society of Hematology (ASH) meeting in December gave evidence of how broad, and rapid, the progress is. Targeted therapies, new combinations … Read more
Ben Blaisdell was a popular 16-year-old when he started experiencing uncharacteristic chills, which led to an anemia diagnosis and, soon after, the surprising news that he had acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). The two-year treatment was tough on him and his entire family, but Blaisdell says that he wouldn’t change his cancer diagnosis even if he … Read more
Because of their increased susceptibility to the toxicities of chemotherapy, should ALL patients with Down syndrome receive modified treatment to minimize this risk? Or should they be given the same treatment as other children with ALL, to minimize the chance for relapse?
While leukemia, a cancer of the blood cells, is one of the more common cancers in children, it occurs most frequently in older adults. More than 60,000 new cases of adult leukemia are estimated in the United States for 2016. These cancers are classified as either acute, which means the cancer is fast growing, or … Read more
Stem cell transplants today can be performed on some patients well into their 70s. While advances in transplant techniques and supportive care have made transplants safer for older patients, a variety of factors influence whether the procedure is right for each individual. Your care team can help determine what is best for you. What is … Read more
Holding hands, 3-year-old Teaghan Bresnahan and her mom run the length of the lake-front dock. At the dock’s end, Teaghan lets go – and gleefully leaps into the air to land in the water with a satisfying splash. It may seem a typical summer scene. But for Teaghan, who has been in treatment for … Read more
Many of the secrets of why precancerous conditions sometimes become cancerous are hidden in cells’ genes. At Dana-Farber, researchers are collecting tissue samples to see if they can pry open those secrets and unlock new treatment options for certain types of blood cancers and other blood disorders. They’re also exploring whether tumor DNA floating in … Read more
When Lori Kauzlarich discovered that she had a precursor blood condition in August 2013, she sprang into action. “I was stunned,” she says. “But I decided to advocate for myself.” Precursor conditions are blood disorders that may evolve into cancers such as leukemia, Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia, and multiple myeloma. They are often asymptomatic and diagnosed incidentally … Read more
For Anna Heard, the fall of 2002 was a season of change. Set to move to Boston in September to begin a master’s program at Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Heard, then 29, had a routine physical in Washington, D.C., before starting the academic year. Although her bloodwork looked “a bit funny,” … Read more
By Kathleen Barton When you get diagnosed with cancer, it kicks your butt – both the physical aspects of chemo and the general inertia that comes with this new thing you’re living with. Before my diagnosis, I was active – working, volunteering, exercising, and spending time with friends. Then some bruising and fatigue led me … Read more
Five hundred miles from her hometown in northern Virginia, newlywed Jeannie Choi, 30, and her husband were settling into to Massachusetts and their new careers in July 2015. Just three months later, their wedding vows – to support each other in sickness and in health – would be put to the test with another transformative … Read more
By Katherine Walsh When faced with something as scary and life-changing as a cancer diagnosis, the way we see the world drastically changes. My story is a literal shift – from cancer researcher to leukemia patient, and a very sick one at that. My world came to a screeching halt in September 2010, when at … Read more