Disease Description

Leukemia – All types: A cancer of the blood-forming organs characterized by large numbers of abnormal white cells which causes infections, anemia and excessive bleeding. An estimated 1,100 new cases of leukemia will be diagnosed in Michigan (31,000 new cases in the U.S.).

Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma: A group of cancers which affect the lymphatic tissues. They involve the uncontrolled growth of cells, similar to leukemia. Approximately 1,850 people in Michigan will be diagnosed with lymphoma this year (53,400 in the U.S.).

Hodgkin’s disease: A form of lymphoma with certain characteristics that distinguish it from non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas. About 260 cases of Hodgkin’s disease will be reported in Michigan this year (7,600 in the U.S.).

Multiple myeloma: A cancer of the plasma cell, which is a type of white blood cell found primarily in the bone marrow. The malignant plasma cells multiply and destroy normal bone tissue, causing pain and crowding out normal cells. In Michigan this year, approximately 500 people will be diagnosed with multiple myeloma (14,600 in the U.S.).

Aplastic anemia: A disease in which the bone marrow no longer produces blood cells; potentially malignant. 35 new cases in Michigan (1,000 in the U.S.).

Fanconi’s anemia: A hereditary form of aplastic anemia with certain distinguishing characteristics; also potentially malignant.

Myelodysplastic syndromes: A potentially malignant disease in which bone marrow malfunctions and not enough normal blood cells are made. About 30 percentage of myelodysplastic syndromes turn into acute myelogenous leukemia. In Michigan this year, 200 people will be diagnosed with this disorder (6,000 in the U.S.).

Myeloproliferative disorders: Malignant or potentially malignant – too many of certain types of blood cells are made in the bone marrow. These include:

  • chronic myelogenous leukemia – too many cells that are forming into white cells
  • polycythemia vera – too many red cells
  • myelofibrosis – too many red cells and cells that are forming into white cells
  • essential thrombocythemia – too many platelets

Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia: A rare cancer that affects certain white blood cells that form in the bone marrow and lymph nodes.