Blood & Bone Marrow Cancer | Miami Cancer Institute | Baptist Health South Florida
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Miami Cancer Institute blood cancer patient with husband on beach

 Blood & Bone Marrow Cancer

A diagnose of blood or bone marrow cancer can be frightening. If you have been recently diagnosed, you probably have a lot of questions and concerns. At Miami Cancer Institute we will help you understand all the information and we will guide you through the treatment process with compassion and expertise.

Cancers of the blood and bone marrow are the types of cancer that affect the production and functioning of blood cells. Most of these cancers begin in the bone marrow, where the blood is made. Cancer develops when the normal process of blood cell development is interrupted by an uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells.

Types of blood or bone marrow cancers include:

  • Lymphoma – A type of blood cancer that starts in the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is a part of the immune system that helps prevent infections. Lymphoma may affect the lymph nodes in all parts of the body or organs such as the spleen. There are two main types of lymphomas:
  • Hodgkin’s lymphoma – Starts when big abnormal cells—called Reed-Sternberg cells—form in the lymph nodes. Thanks to breakthrough treatments, many patients with Hodgkin’s disease may now be cured.
  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma begins with an abnormal change in a white blood cell called lymphocyte, in a lymph node or in the lymphatic tissue. It is more common than Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
  • Myeloma is a cancer of plasma cells which make the antibodies that fight infections. There are several types of myeloma, of which the multiple myeloma is the most common, affecting over 90 percent of diagnosed patients.

Causes of Blood or Bone Marrow Cancers

Doctors don’t know the cause of blood or bone marrow cancers. Most patients who develop cancer don’t have any known risk factors. Research indicates that exposure to high levels of radiation or to certain chemicals, smoking, and family history may increase the risk.

Symptoms of Blood or Bone Marrow Cancers

Depending on the type of cancer they have, patients may experience different symptoms of blood or bone marrow cancer. The most common symptoms are:

Swollen or tender lymph nodes, liver or spleen

  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Fever
  • Bone or joint pain
  • Night sweats
  • Recurring infections
  • Bleeding and bruising
  • Cough and shortness of breath
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To be able to diagnose your blood or bone marrow cancer, you physician will request a series of tests. These tests will help your doctor get a clear understanding of your cancer and its effects in your body. A precise diagnose will give our team all the necessary tools to successfully treat your disease

The most common tests for blood or bone marrow cancer include:

  • Blood tests and urinalysis
  • Aspiration or bone marrow biopsy – Doctors take a small sample of bone marrow fluid or tissue and looks for abnormal cells
  • Lymph node biopsy, in which the doctor obtains lymph node tissue or cells to examine<
  • Imaging tests, such as CT, PET scan, MRI, X-rays, or ultrasounds
  • Lumbar puncture, in which the doctor obtains a sample of cerebrospinal fluid from the spinal canal to examine.

Our team at Miami Cancer Institute provides the most advanced treatments for blood and bone marrow cancers. Several specialists, including oncologists, hematologists and radiation therapy experts will take part in your care. We will work together to ensure you have the best resources available to fight your disease.

The right treatment for you will depend on your age, type of disease and scope, and your overall health. Your medical team will discuss your options, side effects and the expected results.

Treatments may include (alone or in combination):