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Leukemia: Home

What Is Leukemia?

Leukemia is cancer of the white blood cells. White blood cells help your body fight infection. Your blood cells form in your bone marrow. In leukemia, the bone marrow produces abnormal white blood cells. These cells crowd out the healthy blood cells, making it hard for blood to do its work.

There are different types of leukemia, including

  • Acute lymphocytic leukemia
  • Acute myeloid leukemia
  • Chronic lymphocytic leukemia
  • Chronic myeloid leukemia

Leukemia can develop quickly or slowly. Chronic leukemia grows slowly. In acute leukemia, the cells are very abnormal and their number increases rapidly. Adults can get either type; children with leukemia most often have an acute type. Some leukemias can often be cured. Other types are hard to cure, but you can often control them. Treatments may include chemotherapy, radiation and stem cell transplantation. Even if symptoms disappear, you might need therapy to prevent a relapse.

Source: MedlinePlus - Leukemia
Image Source: Medical gallery of Blausen Medical 2014. WikiJournal of Medicine.

Support Group

Tools for Coping with a Cancer Diagnosis

This group provides a safe place for those who are newly diagnosed with cancer to share and learn coping skills for the cancer journey. The group will discuss common issues that affect most people when they are initially diagnosed, such as shock, sharing the diagnosis or not, regaining control, dealing with a new self-image, living with uncertainty, and more.

Schedule: 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month, 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Location: Ridley-Tree Cancer Center, 540 W. Pueblo St., Multipurpose Room, 2nd Floor
For more information, see the Cancer Center calendar.

Supportive Care Programs at the Ridley-Tree Cancer Center

The Ridley-Tree Cancer Center has one of the largest Genetic Counseling departments in California. We offer hereditary cancer risk counseling to help patients and families with a history of cancer better understand and manage the risk of developing cancer through genetic risk assessment and genetic testing.Our Genetic Counselors translate complex genetic information into understandable recommendations for patients, physicians, and families. 

For more information, visit the Ridley-Tree Cancer Center website or call (805) 879-5653.

The Oncology Dietitian Nutritionists at the Ridley-Tree Cancer Center provide evidence-based recommendations that are proven by scientific research and clinical experience. Education and support are provided to help prevent treatment delays and decrease side effects from treatment. Once treatment for cancer is complete, our nutrition experts can recommend personalized food choices that will support treatment outcomes, enhance the quality of life, and decrease the risk of disease recurrence. Monthly seminars provide an opportunity to discuss the most recent research related to cancer, foods and your lifestyle. Services are offered free-of-charge to individuals currently in treatment or within one year of their last treatment.

For more information, visit the Ridley-Tree Cancer Center website or call (805) 879-5652. 

The Ridley-Tree Cancer Center provides Patient Navigation services in order to assist patients on the journey to live with, through, and beyond cancer. Navigators serve as a liaison between individual patients and the various healthcare providers required for proper diagnosis, treatment, and disease management.

Navigators offer coordination of care throughout a cancer patient's experience, by:

  • Explaining medical procedures and providing cancer information
  • Ensuring medical appointments are scheduled and kept
  • Coordinating and streamlining insurance information
  • Identifying local resources and appropriate support
  • Enhancing communication between care providers

Navigation is available per physician referral and is offered free-of-charge. For more information, contact the Patient Navigation department at (805) 879-0660 or navigator@ridleytreecc.org.

At the Ridley-Tree Cancer Center’s Resource Library, we aim to empower anyone touched by cancer with the knowledge they need to become well-informed partners in their healthcare. The Resource Library offers a comfortable place where patients and families can find current, comprehensive information about all aspects of cancer. Services include research assistance, a lending library and online information guides. The Resource Library is open to all and services are offered at no charge.

For more information, visit the Ridley-Tree Cancer Center website or contact the Resource Library at (805) 879-5648 or library@ridleytreecc.org.

Visit Us:
540 W Pueblo St
Monday - Friday, 8:00am - 4:30pm

Cancer can involve significant psychological, social, and economic challenges for patients and their families. How and if these challenges are addressed is an important aspect of a patient’s care plan. The Ridley-Tree Cancer Center employs clinical social workers who provide emotional and practical support for patients, their families, and their friends. Oncology Social Workers can provide advocacy and referrals as well as individual and family counseling services.

Services are available at no cost and are available to anyone in our community, regardless of where they are receiving medical care. 

For more information, visit the Ridley-Tree Cancer Center website or call (805) 879-5690.  

A wide range of wellness activities, classes and programs are available to our patients and their caregivers. Programs include yoga, qigong, exercise programs, painting, flower arranging, music therapy, meditation and more. Upcoming dates can be found on the Ridley-Tree Cancer Center online calendar.

Programs offered free-of-charge. For more information including who qualifies for Ridley-Tree Cancer Center Wellness Programs & Classes and class descriptions, visit the Ridley-Tree Cancer Center website or call (805) 879-5678. 

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Recommended Resources

This video from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society discusses important issues that affect ALL patients, the need for continuous dialogue with healthcare providers, and information, support services, and resources available from LLS. 

This video from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society discusses the factors used to determine when to begin treatment, current and emerging therapies, and the role of clinical trials in the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). 

This video from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society talks about the importance of communication with your healthcare team. 

The video from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society describes the different milestones in patients with CML including how the Philadelphia chromosome is monitored with a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test.

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Resources provided by the Cancer Resource Library are for informational purposes only. The information in these materials may or may not apply to your specific condition, and should not be construed as medical advice. We strongly encourage you to consult your healthcare provider to review anything you learn through these resources.

Ridley-Tree Cancer Center provides comprehensive cancer treatment and support programs for patients and families. We are recognized for medical excellence, a strong clinical research program, and a multidisciplinary approach to cancer prevention.

Cancer Resource Library | 540 West Pueblo Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93105 | (805) 563-5807 | library@ridleytreecc.org | www.ridleytreecc.org