Understanding blood & lymphatic cancer
Your best defense against blood and lymphatic cancer is to find it early. Finding cancer early provides you with more treatment options and a better chance at positive outcomes.
At Baptist MD Anderson, we bring blood and lymphatic cancer care close to home. We follow MD Anderson’s model of outstanding patient care, research, prevention and education.
Know what to look for
Symptoms of Blood & Lymphatic Cancer
While each type of blood and lymphatic cancer is different, they often share common symptoms and signs. If you experience these symptoms, see your primary care doctor and ask for an evaluation.
Common blood or lymphatic cancer symptoms include:
- Fever or chills
- Frequent infections
- Itchy skin or rash
- Bleeding and bruising
- Loss of appetite or nausea
- Night sweats
- Persistent weakness and fatigue
- Unexplained weight loss
- Shortness of breath
- Heavy menstruation or longer period
- Swollen, painful lymph nodes in the neck, armpits or groin
Assessing your risk
What is a Risk Factor?
A risk factor is an increased chance of cancer, based on your genes, lifestyle choices, conditions or exposure.
If you or your family have any of these factors in your medical history, our cancer experts can help. Our physicians offer evaluations and risk assessments for blood and lymphatic cancer. Baptist MD Anderson also offers cancer prevention counseling where you discuss your options for prevention.
General risk factors
Hematologic cancer risk factors include:
- Increased age
- Exposure to benzene and tobacco smoke
- Previous chemotherapy or radiation therapy for cancer
- Weakened immune system
- Autoimmune diseases and some of their medications
- Agent Orange exposure
Heredity risk factors
- Personal or family history of blood count abnormalities of unknown cause
- Personal history of a blood cancer and one or more relatives who also have blood cancers
- Presence of a familial MDS/acute leukemia syndrome such as:
- Familial platelet disorder with propensity for myeloid malignancies (RUNX1 mutation)
- Familial MDS/AML due to GATA2 mutation
- Familial AML due to CEBPA mutation
- Telomere syndromes or other inherited bone marrow failure conditions
Screen & prevention
Are There Blood or Lymphatic Cancer Screening Tests?
At this time, we do not recommend any blood or lymphatic cancer screening for most individuals. However, depending on your personal or family risk factors, your doctor may recommend an evaluation or risk assessment.
If you have any questions, we have you covered. Your nurse navigator will guide you through every step of your care. Contact us to set up an appointment or speak to a navigator.
Hematology Oncology Clinic
Within our specialized clinics we bring together our team of experts to care for you. Each of our clinics are singularly focused on your specific needs and treatment.
Need directions? The hematology-oncology clinic is located in the main Baptist MD Anderson Cancer Center on Floor 6.
Find a Doctor
Our care team brings medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, surgeons and other specialists together for each patient.
For whatever step is next,
Baptist MD Anderson is Here for You
Wherever you are in your journey, we’re here to help you in your fight against cancer. Our team of experts can help you navigate the whirlwind of emotions and decisions through every aspect of your care.
Get a second opinion
The right treatment starts with the right diagnosis.
Find a Support Service
Care for your mental, spiritual health, too.
Prepare For Your Appointment
See everything you need to know before coming in.
They walked me through everything and made me feel as comfortable as possible, so I didn’t have to stress about anything.
Cancer was the last thing on this college student’s mind, but just days after graduation, Daniel Ellis began treatment at Baptist MD Anderson.