CHI Memorial Rees Skillern Cancer Institute provides comprehensive care for the treatment of hematologic malignancies including the three most common types – leukemia, lymphoma and multiple myeloma. Our experts are dedicated to providing exceptional, multidisciplinary care for blood disorders and cancers – from initial exams and diagnosis through treatment and into survivorship. We are focused on your needs.
Your blood plays an important part in how your body functions. It supplies your organs with oxygen and nutrients, hormones and antibodies. Cancer in the blood often occurs because of an overproduction of white blood cells. Common symptoms include weight loss or loss of appetite, persistent weakness, severe fatigue, bone and joint pain, lymph node swelling or night sweats.
There are three main types of blood cancers:
Leukemia is a broad term for cancers of the blood and bone marrow, caused by a rise in the number of white blood cells in your body. These leukemic cells often grow and survive better than normal cells. As the healthy cells are crowded out, they’re unable to do their job of protecting your body from bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other foreign substances.
Lymphoma is a cancer of the lymph system, which is part of the body’s immune system. It develops when white blood cells called lymphocytes grow out of control. Although these abnormal lymphocytes can collect in almost any area of the body, they typically build up in the neck, groin or armpits. There are over 60 different types of lymphoma, broadly grouped into Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphomas.
Myeloma, sometimes called multiple myeloma, is a cancer of the plasma cells, a type of white blood cells. These cells produce infection- and disease-fighting antibodies. Myeloma cells inhibit the growth of normal antibodies, which weaken your body’s immune system and puts you at risk for infection. Abnormal antibodies produced by myeloma cells can damage the bones and result in bone fractures. They can also damage the kidneys and raise calcium levels.