About hematologic cancers
We know cancers of the blood system can impact your quality of life, and at Maimonides, our expert team works together to coordinate excellent cancer care. Leukemia, Hodgkin lymphoma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), and multiple myeloma are all cancers of the blood system, but each behaves differently.
Types of Leukemia
Leukemia is a group of cancers that affects the blood and the bone marrow—the soft tissue inside the bone where blood cells are formed. It causes immature white blood cells to increase uncontrollably and, over time, to prevent the production of healthy red cells, platelets, and mature white cells. The 2 major types of leukemia are acute blood cancer, which grows rapidly, and chronic cancer, which progresses more slowly.
Among these, the 4 most common types of leukemia include:
- Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL)
- Acute myelogenous leukemia (AML)
- Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)
- Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML)
Lymphomas are cancers of the lymph glands and lymphatic system, which fights infection and disease. The two main types of lymphatic cancer are Hodgkin lymphoma and NHL. Hodgkin lymphoma, one of the most curable forms of cancer, can occur in children and adults. It commonly affects lymph nodes in the neck or the area between the lungs behind the breastbone, and can also begin under the arms, in the abdomen, or in the groin. NHL can start anywhere in the body. More than 75% of patients with NHL live longer than 1 year after diagnosis; nearly 60% of patients live longer than 5 years.
Multiple myeloma causes plasma cells in the bone marrow to grow out of control and form bone tumors, which can hamper the production of red and white blood cells and platelets. It can also cause pain and destroy the bones.
Hematologic diagnostic services
We are committed to obtaining the most accurate diagnoses. Our hematologic oncology team conducts blood tests, lymph node and bone marrow biopsies, and bone marrow aspirations. Our imaging experts use cutting-edge technology—x-rays, and computed tomography (CT), positron emission tomography (PET), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and gallium scans to determine whether and how extensively the cancer has spread.
Specializing in multiple myeloma
The Maimonides Multiple Myeloma Program specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of plasma cell disorders, including monoclonal gammopathy of unknown significance (MGUS), multiple myeloma, and primary amyloidosis. The program also participates in clinical trials, including the personalized medicine initiative of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, giving patients access to new and experimental treatments.
Treating Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
All treatment options depend on the type of lymphoma, its stage, and your overall health. Treatments may include chemotherapy or radiation therapy, either alone or together. Radiation, also called radiotherapy, is the careful use of radiation to safely and effectively kill cancer cells while avoiding nearby healthy tissue. We offer external beam and involved-field radiation therapies.
In addition to radiation therapies, we offer immunotherapy (also called biologic therapy), which works with your immune system to fight cancer. Unlike chemotherapy, which attacks cancer directly, biologic therapy helps your immune system to better fight the disease.
Addressing your individual needs
Our multidisciplinary team of hematologists, oncologists, pain and palliative care experts, orthopedists, nurses, and social workers develop therapeutic plans tailored for you. These tailored treatment plans address your specific physical, emotional, social, and financial needs. We deliver superior, personalized care.