Leukemia and Lymphoma Awareness Month is coming up in September. The recognition was established to acknowledge the vast number of people fighting blood cancer and the ongoing search for a cure.
Leukemia is a blood cancer that starts in the bone marrow and causes an overproduction of abnormal white blood cells that grow until they eventually crowd out the normal cells that carry oxygen, control bleeding, and fight infections. There are several types of leukemia which can be acute or chronic. The most common types are lymphocytic and myeloid.
Lymphoma originates in the lymphatic system. This cancer mutates the infection-fighting lymphocyte cells causing them to grow at a rapid pace. Once these abnormal cells outnumber the healthy ones they inhibit the body’s immune system. Lymphoma is treatable but as with many cancers the prognosis varies depending on the type and stage of the disease.
The exact cause of blood cancer is unknown, but it seems to develop from a combination of genetics and environment. Common treatments include: chemotherapy, biological therapy, targeted therapy, radiation therapy, and stem cell transplant.
Common Symptoms of Leukemia and Lymphoma:
- Fever and chills
- Persistent fatigue
- Frequent infections
- Weight loss
- Enlarged Liver or spleen
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Bruising easily
- Recurrent nosebleeds
- Night sweats
- Bone pain
- Small red/purple spots on the skin (petechiae)
- Severe itching
Boost your professional health care presence by partnering with your referral network in the fight to cure cancer. Go to lls.org to find a program that is right for your company.