September is Leukemia, Lymphoma and Myeloma Awareness Month is an opportunity to increase the public's understanding of blood cancers and encourage people to support the funding of research to find cures and education programs to help patients have the best possible outcomes throughout their cancer experience.
Leukemia is a cancer of the bone marrow and blood. The two main types of leukemia are lymphocytic leukemia, which involves an increase of white blood cells called lymphocytes; and myelogenous leukemia (also known as myeloid or myelocytic leukemia), which involves an increase in white blood cells called granulocytes.
Leukemia can be acute or chronic. Acute forms of leukemia progress rapidly, while chronic forms of leukemia progress slowly
Lymphoma is a general term for cancers that start in the lymph system; mainly the lymph nodes. The two main types of lymphoma are Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Hodgkin lymphoma spreads in an orderly manner from one group of lymph nodes to another. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma spreads through the lymphatic system in a non-orderly manner. The causes of lymphoma are unknown.
Myeloma is a cancer of the plasma cells. In myeloma, the cells overgrow, forming a mass or tumor that is located in the bone marrow. Bone marrow is the spongy tissue found in the center of the bone, where red cells, white blood cells, and platelets are made.
Age is the most significant risk factor for developing myeloma. People under age 45 rarely develop the disease. Those aged 67 years or older are at greatest risk of developing myeloma. Men are more likely than women to develop myeloma, and myeloma is about twice as common among African Americans as among Caucasians.
Signs and symptoms of blood cancers include:
Feeling very tired;
Weight loss for no known reason;
Pain or a feeling of fullness below the ribs on the left side.
Diagnosing and Treatment
Blood cancers are detected during physical examinations and blood tests. Other tests include bone marrow aspirations and CT Scans. Treatment involves radiation, chemotherapy and in some cases transplants.
Remarkable progress has been made in treating patients with blood cancers, with survival rates for many having doubled or tripled, and in some cases quadrupled since The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) was founded in 1949.
For more information visit this site: http://www.lls.org/