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Leukemia & Lymphoma Diagnosis & Treatment

Leukemia and lymphoma, also known as hematologic cancers, affect the blood, bone marrow and lymph nodes. Most types of hematologic cancer are very complex and require special expertise to successfully treat. Our cancer experts specialize in developing personalized treatments for people throughout the Puget Sound who have leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma.

Here, you’ll have access to the latest research and innovations through our research and participation in national clinical trials.

Our medical oncologists are among the best in the region, and we also partner with the Northwest’s leading medical oncology and hematology experts at Hematology Oncology Northwest and Rainier Hematology-Oncology. Both are nationally recognized for genomic research and innovation and are on the forefront of diagnosing and treating people with cancer.

Diagnosing leukemia, lymphoma and multiple myeloma

Leukemia is a cancer that usually involves the white blood cells, which are produced by the body’s bone marrow. Several types of leukemia exist, and it’s vital for you to receive an accurate diagnosis so that your treatment is appropriate for the type you have.

Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma are two other cancers that significantly affect the body's immune system and compromise a person's ability to fight infection. As with leukemia, an accurate diagnosis is critical so that you receive the right type of treatment.

In addition to leukemia and lymphoma, Virginia Mason Franciscan Health has expertise in treating multiple myeloma, a cancer of the plasma cells. Multiple myeloma is considered generally incurable, but with targeted treatment, long-term remissions are possible.

  • Leukemia: A complete blood count can identify abnormal white blood cell levels relative to red blood cells and platelets.
  • Lymphoma: A biopsy will be used to remove a small portion of tissue for testing. In some cases, an X-ray, CT or positron emission tomography (PET) scan can be used to detect swollen lymph nodes.
  • Multiple myeloma: A complete blood count, or other blood or urine tests, can detect chemicals or proteins that indicate myeloma development. In some cases, bone marrow biopsy, X-ray, MRI, PET and CT scans can be used to confirm cancer and the extent of its spread. 

Leukemia and lymphoma treatment

Radiation, chemotherapy, bone marrow transplants and immunotherapy are all options in the treatment of blood disorders. Virginia Mason Franciscan Health offers the latest treatment options available and is ready to provide each individual with state-of-the-art care.

Our cancer specialists take a multidisciplinary team approach to treating hematologic cancers. Experts from several specialties work together to design a personalized treatment plan specifically for your individual case, which may include one or more of the following:

  • Chemotherapy uses medications that work to remove, kill or damage cancer cells.
  • Immunotherapy activates the body’s immune system to fight cancer.
  • Radiation therapy uses ionizing radiation to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors.
  • Stem cell transplants replace stem cells in bone marrow that are destroyed by chemotherapy.
  • Targeted therapies use antibodies that target specific molecules within cancer cells.

Leukemia and lymphoma second opinions

If you’ve been diagnosed with leukemia or lymphoma, learn more about second opinions and how they may help you find all your available treatment options.

Leukemia and lymphoma research and clinical trials

Virginia Mason Franciscan Health is a leader in cancer research. Learn more about research and clinical trial options.

Leukemia and lymphoma wellness and support

Cancer treatment includes more than just treating physical symptoms. Learn more about our comprehensive wellness and support services.

Leukemia and lymphoma specialists

To learn more about leukemia and lymphoma care or to make an appointment, find a specialist near you.