Today is the World Blood Cancer Day, an event to show solidarity to patients and raise awareness for the need of better therapies to treat these cancers – which are still often deadly.
Blood cancers can affect different type of cells in the blood. Because these cells are so close to the circulatory and immune system, they are often related – and hard to treat.
This wide group includes different indications, according to the cells involved.
Lymphomas affect lymph cells. Historically, they have been divided in Hodgkin’s lymphoma (characterized by the presence of abnormal Reed-Sternberg cells) and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (which has many subtypes).
Leukemia is cancer of blood-forming cells. It can be either chronic or acute, and develop in the bone marrow cells that go on to become white blood cells (lymphocytic leukemias) or red blood cells (myelogenous leukemias).
Finally, if the cancer is in plasma cells (a type of white blood cell that produces antibodies),