Leukemia is cancer of the white blood cells. When leukemia occurs, the body produces many abnormal white blood cells (blasts) that aren't able to do the work that normal white blood cells do. More abnormal than normal cells are made, leaving the blood unable to do its work. Leukemia can be acute or chronic. Acute leukemias get worse very quickly. Chronic leukemias get worse gradually. In the United States, more than 310,000 Americans are currently living with leukemia.*
Lymphomas are cancers that affect the white blood cells of the lymphatic system. This system includes hundreds of lymph nodes, which are found all over the body, and the lymphatic vessels that link the nodes. The lymphatic system is part of your immune system, which helps protect you from illness. Lymphoma occurs when cells in the lymphatic system called lymphocytes become abnormal and multiply to form more and more abnormal cells.
Lymphoma is divided into two general categories: Hodgkin's disease (also called Hodgkin's lymphoma) and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Nearly 731,000 Americans are living with Hodgkin’s or non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.*
Multiple myeloma is cancer that affects certain white blood cells called plasma cells. Plasma cells, and other white blood cells, are part of the immune system that produce disease- and infection-fighting antibodies in the body. Myeloma cells prevent the normal production of antibodies, leaving your body's immune system weakened and susceptible to infection. An estimated 88,490 people are living with myeloma in the United States.*
*Statistic from the Leukemia Research Foundation