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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.

Oncology Social Work Services and Counseling

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, call (805) 879-5690.  

Patient Navigation

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

For more information, contact the Patient Navigation department at (805) 879-0660 or navigator@ridleytreecc.org.

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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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.

Date and Time
1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month, 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
For upcoming dates and times, check the Cancer Center calendar.

Location
Ridley-Tree Cancer Center
540 W. Pueblo St.
Multipurpose Room, 2nd Floor
Parking is available on the property.

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