11 Facts About Leukemia and Other Blood Cancers

Woman Doctor in a Surgical Mask
  1. Approximately every 4 minutes one person in the United States is diagnosed with a type of blood cancer.
  2. There are three main types of blood cancers:
    • Leukemia: cancer that is found in your blood and bone marrow, which is caused by the rapid production of abnormal white blood cells.
    • Lymphoma: blood cancer that affects the lymphatic system, which removes excess fluids from your body and produces immune cells. Overtime these cancerous cells impair your immune system.
    • Myeloma: blood cancer that specifically targets your plasma cells. Plasma cells are white blood cells that produce disease and infection-fighting antibodies.
  3. Over 1 million Americans are living with, or are in remission from, leukemia, lymphoma or myeloma.
  4. Leukemia is the 10th most frequently occurring type of cancer in all races or ethnicities.
  5. There are two main types of lymphoma: Hodgkin and Non-Hodgkin.
    • Hodgkin lymphoma spreads in an orderly manner from one group of lymph nodes to another.
    • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma spreads through the lymphatic system in a non-orderly manner.
  6. Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma is the seventh most common cancer in males and females in the U.S.
  7. Approximately every 10 minutes, someone in the US dies from a blood cancer.
  8. Leukemia causes almost one-third of all cancer deaths in children under the age 15.
  9. Age is the most significant risk factor for developing myeloma. People under 45 rarely develop the disease, while those ages 67 or older are at greatest risk.
  10. About 31 percent more males are living with leukemia than females. And more males than females are diagnosed with leukemia and die from it.
  11. The 5-year survival rate for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and leukemia is about 10 percent lower for African-Americans than whites.

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Sources: Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Leukemia Research Foundation, CDCNational Marrow Donor Program