Hematologic cancers (cancers of the blood and bone marrow) include Hodgkin's lymphoma, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, leukemia and myloma. There are two kinds of lymphoma: Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and Hodgkin’s disease. Both are a cancer that starts in lymphoid tissue (also called lymph or lymphatic tissue). The difference between the two can only be determined under the microscope; therefore having experts in hematopathology is crucial.
There are many different signs and symptoms of lymphoma, depending on where it is found in the body. Sometimes it doesn't cause any symptoms until it grows quite large. Imaging tests are used to find the tumors inside the body. If lymphoma or leukemia is suspected, the following tests may be done to diagnose and stage the cancer: blood test, chest X-ray, ultrasound, bone marrow aspiration, lumbar puncture, and/or biopsy.
Leukemia is a type of cancer that starts in the soft, inner part of the bones (bone marrow) and often moves quickly into the blood. It can then spread to other parts of the body such as the lymph nodes, spleen, liver, central nervous system, and other organs. Although this is mainly a disease of children, adults can also get leukemia. Northridge Hospital treats patients over the age of 18 for all cancers.
At this time, there are no tests for the early detection of lymphoma or leukemia. Patients with leukemia often have several symptoms, but the symptoms are general. They do not necessarily indicate leukemia and can often be caused by something other than cancer. Also because leukemia does not usually form tumors, imaging tests are not always helpful.
Progressive Treatment Options
It’s our belief that cancer treatment is not simply a matter of giving the right medicine for the right illness. We understand it’s the entire person who is going through this difficult time and we strive to help you physically, psychologically and spiritually.
Every patient is unique, every family's history is diverse and every cancer is different. Our specialized cancer team addresses this by customizing a treatment plan that meets your needs and goals.
Your treatment plan may involve surgery, chemotherapy and radiation either alone or in combination with additional treatment methods. After undergoing surgery, many patients receive radiation therapy to stop the growth of undetected cancer cells. Radiation reduces the chance of recurrence. This combination of surgery and radiation therapy has long been considered a safe and effective alternative to complete removal of an organ.
Radiation may be used to reduce pain when the leukemia has spread to a bone and if chemo hasn't helped. Surgery is not generally used to treat leukemia.
We offer the most advanced methods of chemotherapy and hormonal therapy treatment. Our patients are given a comfortable, supportive setting while receiving intravenous (IV), intramuscular (IM) or oral medication. In addition, we offer personalized care, including nutritional recommendations and help for patients to look and feel their best with specialized beauty tips and meditation techniques.
The newly expanded Cancer Center offers an open and flexible chemotherapy area that includes comfortable lounge chairs for patients and family, and a choice of infusion suites equipped with an individual television with headset, DVD players, iPod, and Wi-Fi for laptop access.
High doses of chemotherapy drugs kill cancer cells, but they also can cause severe damage to bone marrow cells which could be fatal. Through stem cell transplants, bone marrow can restore its ability to make blood.
Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor Therapy
Anticancer drugs called tyrosine kinase inhibitors are used to treat some types of leukemia. These drugs block the enzyme, tyrosine kinase, which causes stem cells to develop into more white blood cells than the body needs.
Certain steroid drugs have been found to help chemotherapy work better and help stop the growth of cancer cells.
Using Cytokine Therapy Biological therapy (also called immunotherapy, biological response modifier therapy or biotherapy) uses the body's immune system to fight cancer. The cells, antibodies and organs of the immune system work to protect and defend the body against foreign invaders, such as bacteria or viruses. Physicians and researchers have found that the immune system might also be able to both determine the difference between healthy cells and cancer cells in the body, and to eliminate the cancer cells.
Bone Marrow or Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Transplantation
As part of the UCLA Cancer network, Northridge Hospital patients needing bone marrow or stem cell transplants are sent to UCLA to ensure timely treatment.
Imaging is often used to determine the stage of the cancer or the tumor's exact location in order to make treatment decisions. We have invested in advanced imaging technology and expanded our capabilities to include highly-trained subspecialty radiologists for quick and definitive diagnoses.
Groundbreaking medical advances are the result of new ideas and approaches developed through clinical research. Northridge Hospital remains on the forefront of the latest research developments by offering participation in clinical research. For information on cancer trials we are currently conducting, please call our Cancer Research Department at (818) 885-5458.