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What is leukemia and lymphoma?

Leukemia and lymphoma are hematologic cancers, meaning they are cancers of the blood and bone marrow. In patients with leukemia, the abnormal production of white blood cells in bone marrow inhibits the bone marrow’s ability to produce red blood cells and platelets. Lymphoma, a blood cancer that impacts the lymph system, affects the body’s ability to fight infection and disease. While once thought incurable, recent advances in medicine have made lymphoma a treatable condition. 

Leukemia risk factors and symptoms

Risk factors for leukemia and lymphoma include:

  • Previous treatment for cancer

  • Genetic disorders, such as Down syndrome

  • Exposure to some chemicals

  • Smoking

  • Family history

Symptoms experienced include:

  • Persistent weakness and fatigue

  • Fever or chills
  • Bone tenderness or pain

  • Excessive sweating

  • Recurring nosebleeds

  • Easy bruising or bleeding

  • Unexplained weight loss

  • Pain in lymph nodes

Leukemia screening and diagnosis

While there are no standard screening processes for leukemia and lymphoma, your doctor may diagnose these conditions by performing certain exams and tests, including:

  • Physical exam

  • Blood tests

  • Bone marrow test

Leukemia treatment and surgery

Your course of treatment depends on many factors, including your age and general health. Together, you and your doctor and the team of experts at St. Luke’s Health can determine the right course of treatment for you. This could include:

  • Chemotherapy

  • Radiation therapy

  • Stem cell transplant

  • Targeted therapy

  • Biological therapy

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U.S. News & World Report

Home of the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center, one of only three NCI-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in Texas, U.S. News & World Report has accredited Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center as one of the best hospitals for several specialties, including previous accreditation for compassionate patient-centered cancer care.