Sumeet Bhatia, M.D., is a board certified medical oncologist, hematologist and internal medicine specialist. Dr. Bhatia is also a certified MD Anderson Cancer Network® physician.
Every four minutes in America someone is diagnosed with a blood cancer. These types of cancers include leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma, as well as many other rare blood and bone marrow disorders. As a medical oncologist treating these cancers, Dr. Bhatia says he feels very optimistic when treating these types of cancer. Dr. Bhatia helps break down the types and gives us the basics on blood cancer.
Is there a typical age that someone gets cancer of the blood?
These cancers do not respect age. Cancers of the blood affect the youngest and the oldest of people, and many in between. Last year in Indiana, 2,910 cases of lymphoma, leukemia or myeloma were diagnosed and 1,220 people died. A quarter of those cases were diagnosed in children and teens. Leukemia remains the most common type of childhood cancer and non-Hodgkin lymphoma is the third most common type of cancer among children.
What are the most common blood cancer types?
Leukemia can come on suddenly and makes the individual very sick very fast. Older patients with leukemia often experience back pain that doesn’t subside, fatigue and bleeding. Chronic leukemia may even be detected accidentally when the person has fever and enlarged spleen or swollen stomach.
Both Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma are characterized by nights sweats. These patients may not initially present with any other symptoms, but lab tests are used to help make a diagnosis.
Myeloma is most often diagnosed in adults over 60 years old. This cancer can be a very slow growing cancer. There have been many medical advances in the treatment of myeloma since the 1990s. At that time, the survival prognosis was just 18 months. Now, individuals with myeloma have a much longer survival rate: 12 or more years. continue reading ...