About Blood Cancer
At Gift of Life we believe every person battling blood cancer deserves a second chance at life — and we are determined to make it happen. We are singularly passionate about engaging the public to help us get everyone involved in curing blood cancer, whether as a donor, a volunteer or a financial supporter. It all begins with one remarkable person, one life-changing swab and one huge win — finding a match and a cure.
Blood cancer is an umbrella term for cancers that affect the blood, bone marrow and lymphatic system. In most blood cancers, normal blood cell development is interrupted by uncontrolled growth of abnormal blood cells. The abnormal blood cells can prevent blood from fighting off infection or preventing uncontrolled bleeding.
Unfortunately, blood cancer can strike any one of us at any time. Approximately every four minutes, a child or adult in the United States is diagnosed with a type of blood cancer. That’s 360 people a day, 130,000 people a year.
There are three main types of blood cancers: Leukemia, cancer that is found in your blood and bone marrow; Lymphoma, blood cancer that affects the lymphatic system; and Myeloma, blood cancer that specifically targets your plasma cells.
For many, there is hope of a cure through a bone marrow or peripheral blood stem cell transplant. Today, transplantation, of healthy stem cells donated by related and unrelated volunteers, offers hope to many patients suffering from these sometimes deadly diseases.
Advances in transplantation have made this procedure a reality for thousands who are alive today because a stranger gave them the Gift of Life!
Conditions that can be treated by transplantation include:
- Bone marrow diseases: Amegakaryocytosis/congenital thrombocytopenia, Fanconi anemia, Paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH), Pure red cell aplasia, Severe aplastic anemia.
- Familial erythrophagocythic lymphohistiocytosis and other histiocytic disorders.
- Hemoglobinopathies: Beta Thalassemia Major and Sickle Cell Disease.
- Inherited Immune System Disorders: Severe combined immunodeficiency and Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome.
- Inherited Metabolic Disorders: Adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD), Hurler Syndrome (MPS-IH), Krabbe Disease (GLD), and Metachromatic Leukodystrophy (MLD).
- Leukemias and lymphomas: Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL), Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML), Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL), Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML), Hodgkin’s (HL) and Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL), and Juvenile Myelomonocytic Leukemia.
- Myelodysplastic syndromes including myeloproliferative disorders.
- Multiple myeloma and plasma cell disorders.
- Some other cancers and malignant diseases.