Blood cancers, also referred to as hematologic cancers, usually start in the bone marrow, which is where blood is made. Blood cancers develop when abnormal blood cells begin to grow out of control and interrupt the function of normal blood cells, which fight off infection and produce new blood cells. Each type of blood cancer affects different aspects of the cells in blood.
Take a look at the information here to understand a particular blood cancer or condition. Then, when you’re ready, click the button to make an appointment with one of our hematologists.
Leukemia is cancer that starts in the tissues that form blood. Types of leukemia can be grouped based on how quickly the disease develops and advances. It is either chronic, which typically progresses slowly, or acute, which usually progresses quickly.
Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma begins when a lymphocyte or white blood cell of the lymphatic system becomes abnormal and makes more abnormal cells. Since abnormal cells don't die, they also don’t function normally and are unable to protect the body from infections or other diseases. Instead, the buildup of extra cells often forms a mass of tissue called a tumor.
Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a cancer that begins in lymphocytes, the white blood cells responsible for immune system responses. HL begins when a cell becomes abnormal and includes the presence of an abnormal cell called a Reed-Sternberg cell. This cell divides, copies itself, stops the function of normal cells, and creates a buildup of extra cells that form a tumor.
Myeloma begins when a plasma cell becomes abnormal. The abnormal cell divides, copies itself, and makes more abnormal cells. These abnormal plasma cells are called myeloma cells. Over time, myeloma cells collect in the bone marrow and damage the solid part of the bone. When myeloma cells collect in several bones, the disease is called multiple myeloma.
When diagnosed with a blood cancer or a blood condition, treatment will be at a cancer center led by an oncologist that specializes in hematology. For many blood cancer patients, a hematologic oncologist oversees the entire treatment process, acting as the lead physician for your cancer care team. They will help evaluate all of your treatment options and determine the best combination and timing for the various treatments.
At Willamette Valley Cancer Institute and Research Center, expert hematologists treat leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma, and other blood cancers. WVCI also advances the treatment of blood cancers through clinical trials that lead to the development of new therapies. We know it’s important for you to get good information and choose a treatment that’s best for you.
At Willamette Valley Cancer Institute, medical oncologists and hematologists, including Dr. Luke Fletcher, treat patients with blood cancers. There are different types of treatment options available to help manage and treat cancers of the blood, with promising cancer research on the horizon.
Watch this video to learn more about the different types of blood cancers, common symptoms, staging, and treatment including clinical trials.
A blood cancer diagnosis can leave you feeling overwhelmed and full of questions. If you’ve recently been diagnosed with lymphoma or multiple myeloma, visit our guide for newly diagnosed patients. Hopefully, it can ease your mind about what you can expect at your first appointment with the hematologist.
Our blood cancer specialists in the Willamette Valley are ready to help you navigate your treatment plan as well as help you manage side effects, nutrition, and your emotional well-being.
The WVCI team of experts is ready to talk to you about your type of cancer and all your treatment options. When you’re ready, click the button to make an appointment with one of our blood cancer specialists at a location convenient to you in Albany, Corvallis, Eugene, Florence, Newport, and Lincoln City. We’re here to answer all your questions and help you every step of the way.