Most people know that leukemia has something to do with our blood system, and that, as its name implies, lymphoma is somehow related to our lymphatic system. But beyond that, what else do we need to know about leukemia and lymphoma?

For starters, every 180 seconds, someone is diagnosed with a blood cancer: leukemia, lymphoma or myeloma. And it’s estimated that by the end of 2021, a combined total of 186,400 people in the United States will have been diagnosed with a blood cancer. Finally, leukemia is the most common cancer among children and teens, even though it actually affects more adults. The good news is that survival rates for childhood leukemia have increased significantly.

While we know that nothing can be done to prevent leukemia or lymphoma, early diagnosis is crucial to early treatment and a higher survival rate. When patients know more about their cancer and the treatment plan, it can actually help them and their families better cope with an overwhelming diagnosis. Finally, increased awareness can lead to increased research to find a cure.

Your Care at Merle Cancer Care Center in Anacortes

We know that cancer is not just about the physical challenges; it puts a strain on the emotional, social, mental and spiritual well-being of the patient and families, all of which are important in the healing process. We offer a full range of support to help with these challenges. Patients have access to caring provider and staff, support groups, helpful podcasts and blogs to inform and comfort everyone involved in the treatment plan.

Did you know that Merle Cancer Care Center is part of the Northwest Puget Sound Cancer Care network? This means that our patients remain close to home for infusion treatments and have access to local support services, while still benefiting from partnerships with major cancer care centers to provide consultation on treatment plans. Receiving cancer care close to home means fewer trips to Everett or Seattle and more rest when you need it most.

Here’s what we offer right here at home:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Non-chemotherapy medication administration
  • Blood product transfusions
  • Private visits to physicians
  • Referrals to radiation therapy
  • Personalized genomic therapy

Leukemia and Lymphoma: A closer look

Leukemia is a cancer of the blood and blood-forming tissue, including bone marrow and the lymphatic system.

The three most common types of leukemia are:

  • Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) – Most common in children, but young adults also affected.
  • Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) – More common in patients over 65
  • Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) – Most common type of leukemia and usually affects the elderly over 80 years of age.

Lymphoma is a group of blood cancers that develop in the lymphatic system. There are two types, including:

  • Hodgkin lymphoma – one of the most curable forms of cancer
  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma – several types of blood cancer in the lymph nodes or tissue (white blood cells that are part of the immune system)

Signs and Symptoms:

While the following are common to other less serious illnesses, they can also be symptoms of leukemia or lymphoma because there’s an underproduction of normal blood cells (either red, white or platelets). It is important that you talk to your physician if you are experiencing the following:

    • Persistent fatigue that worsens over time
    • Night Sweats
    • Unexplained fevers
    • Shortness of breath during normal physical activity
    • Unexplained Bruising or bleeding
  • Enlarged masses in the neck, axilla (the region under your shoulder joint), or groin
  • Unexplained weight loss


Arthur Molina III, MD


Island Hospital welcomes Dr. Arthur Molina to the Merle Cancer Care Center. Board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and the American Board of Medical Oncology, Molina earned his Doctor of Medicine degree from Baylor College of Medicine. He completed his residency at the University of Texas Health Science Center and is a Fellow at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

 To schedule an appointment with Dr. Molina, please call the Merle Cancer Care Center at (360) 299-4200.




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Published on September 28, 2021