a uva health doctor meets with a blood cancer patient

Leukemia, Blood Cancers, & Disorders

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Getting a leukemia, lymphoma, or bone marrow cancer diagnosis can be frightening. It's hard to find reassurance about what's going to happen. You don't know how long treatment and recovery will take. Especially when your body feels weak and sick. 

That's why, at UVA, we're in it with you, for the long term. Your care stays our top priority.

Leukemia Treatment Excellence

Today, the outlook for many patients with leukemia is very good. Still, where you find treatment matters. Make sure you ask questions. Don’t be afraid to seek a second opinion.

At UVA, you’ll find over 20 years’ experience in several types of blood cancer. Many insurance companies name us a Center of Excellence due to our success rates.

See your blood cancer treatment options.

Team Expertise

We have over 20 years’ experience in blood cancer. Our team is dedicated to excellence in patient care. View blood cancer transcript.

Why Seek Care at UVA?

We're the only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center in Virginia, and 1 of 53 in the U.S. When you come here for treatment, you can trust that you're getting quality and expertise. 

You'll find:

  • Deep experience
  • Advanced treatments through clinical trials
  • Compassionate, welcoming people
  • A calming, healing environment without the added stress of a city

Find out more about why you should choose a Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Treatment for Sickle Cell, Hemophilia, & Rare Blood Disorders

They aren't cancer. But blood disorders are often life-threatening and painful to live with. We offer expertise in a variety of rare blood disorders.

cancer patient massage is one of the many cancer center support services at uva health

Get What You Need

It's not just about finding medical experts. It's finding the compassionate support you need. At UVA, you'll find we're ready and available to care for you as a whole person. 

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What is Blood Cancer?

Several types of blood cancer exist. They usually start in your bone marrow, where your body creates the different cells that make up your blood.

Generally, blood cancers get in the way of normal cell production. This hurts your body's ability to protect itself from infection. 

The 3 Main Types of Blood Cancer

The type of blood cancer you have depends on how and what the cancer attacks.

Too many white blood cells: Leukemia creates too many white blood cells. This means you can't fight infection well. And your bone marrow can't produce the number of platelets and red blood cells you need.

Abnormal plasma cells: Myeloma affects plasma cells, which create antibodies that fight infection and disease. 

Damaged lymphocytes: Lymphoma damages lymphocytes. The disease spreads to lymph nodes, hurting your systemic defense against disease.  

The Different Types of Leukemia: What Do They Mean?

Lymphocytic or Myelogenous

  • Lymphocytic leukemias affect the bone marrow cells that develop into lymphocytes.
  • Myelogenous leukemias hurt the stem cells that become red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.

Acute or Chronic Leukemias

  • Acute leukemias happen fast. They race through your system.
  • Chronic leukemias develop slowly. 
Bruce and husband stand at the door of the UVA Cancer Center, visiting for a checkup on lymphoma treatment.

Be Like Bruce

Bruce came to UVA Health for lymphoma treatment. What he learned along the way can help anyone facing a scary health crisis.

Read Bruce's story