Leukemia starts where blood cells are made in the bone marrow. It then spreads to your blood.
The most common types of leukemia blood cancer are:
- Acute myeloid leukemia
- Chronic myeloid leukemia
- Acute lymphocytic leukemia
- Chronic lymphocytic leukemia
Visit our leukemia page to learn about the different risk factors, symptoms and treatments associated with the types.
More about leukemia
Lymphoma is a type of cancer that develops from white blood cells called lymphocytes.
The two main types of lymphoma blood cancer are:
- Hodgkin lymphoma
- Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
Visit our lymphoma pages to learn more about the risk factors, symptoms and treatments for these cancers.
More about lymphoma
Multiple myeloma begins in the bone marrow and affects your plasma cells. When these cells become abnormal and rapidly progress, it turns into cancer. Plasma cells are found in the bone marrow and the outer layer of the bones. Multiple myeloma is not a bone cancer but is cancer that affects bones.
Some factors may increase your risk of developing myeloma:
- Older than 50 years
- Being male
- Radiation or exposure to certain chemicals
- African Americans are at twice the risk than other races
- Presence of chronic immunodeficiency
- Inflammatory conditions, such as cardiovascular disease or diabetes
These risk factors could be present due to other illnesses not related to blood cancer, so see your doctor about your concerns.
Some patients have no symptoms in the early stages of myeloma, and the disease is not detected through routine blood work tests. When symptoms are present, bone pain and fatigue are most common.
Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are a group of diseases that affect the blood and marrow at varying degrees.
Primary (de novo) MDS occurs when random mutations accumulate in the stem cells with aging. If these mutations occur in specific genes and in particular locations, MDS results.
Secondary (treatment-related) MDS is less common than cases of primary MDS. It can occur in a small number of patients who received treatment (such as exposure to chemotherapy and/or radiation), though the risk of developing it is low. Patients with rare, inherited bone marrow disorders—such as Fanconi anemia or dyskeratosis congenita—or aplastic anemia (a bone failure disorder) can also develop secondary MDS.
Some people have no symptoms, or their doctor may detect MDS from routine blood work before symptoms appear. Others may experience:
- Pale skin
- Shortness of breath
- Easy bruising
These symptoms could be present due to other illnesses not related to blood cancer, so see your doctor about your concerns.
Myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) develop from an abnormal mutation in the stem cell's bone marrow, leading to an overproduction of white cells, red cells and platelets.
Types of MPNs
Essential Thrombocythemia occurs when the bone marrow produces too many platelets, which can lead to a blood clot that forms in a blood vessel (thrombosis).
Myelofibrosis is a rare MPN disorder that occurs when abnormal blood cells and fibers build up in the bone marrow.
Polycythemia Vera occurs when too many red blood cells are made in the bone marrow. Often the white blood cells and platelets counts are elevated, too.