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Get Expert Help for Leukemia in Arizona


Leukemia is cancer of the white blood cells. It starts in the bone marrow where blood cells develop. As leukemia cells grow and multiply, they take over the blood and push out normal blood cells. There are five main types of leukemia: acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), acute myeloid leukemia (AML), chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), and hairy cell leukemia (HCL).

Find a Doctor online or call 888.670.6341 to make an appointment with a Dignity Health oncologist with expertise in treating blood cancer, including leukemia, in Arizona. We provide cancer care at our St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center and Chandler Regional Medical Center campuses. The University of Arizona Cancer Center at Dignity Health St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center is the only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center headquartered in Arizona.

Leukemia Symptoms

You can have leukemia for a long time, sometimes years, before you have symptoms. When symptoms develop, they are due to changes in blood cell counts. Here’s what can happen when leukemia starts affecting the different types of blood cells:

  • Abnormal white blood cells or low levels of healthy white blood cells can make it hard for your body to fight infections. Symptoms can include fevers, chills, frequent infections, and swollen glands.
  • Low levels of red blood cells (anemia) can cause weakness and tiredness.
  • Low levels of platelets can cause easy bleeding, bruising, and tiny red spots under the skin.

Other general signs and symptoms of leukemia include night sweats, headaches, joint and bone pain, weight loss, loss of appetite, and swollen or bleeding gums.

What Causes Leukemia?

Genetic (DNA) defects can trigger abnormal blood cell growth and leukemia. A noninherited genetic defect called the Philadelphia chromosome causes chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). However, health experts do not fully understand why some people get this and other defects that cause leukemia. Anyone can get leukemia, but certain things increase your risk, including:

  • Being born with certain genetic conditions, including Down syndrome
  • Being male, white, and older than 55
  • Exposure to the chemical benzene, which is found in chemical plants and gasoline industries
  • Radiation exposure
  • Smoking
  • Chemotherapy

Leukemia Treatment at Dignity Health

At Dignity Health, we treat the whole person with a personalized, comprehensive treatment plan. Your care team will include a range of board-certified doctors, such as radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, and surgeons. Additional cancer care specialists, including dietitians, pharmacists, social workers, and spiritual care experts, will support your treatment goals and overall health.

Treatment options depend on the type and stage of leukemia. The main treatment for most types of leukemia is chemotherapy. Other options include radiation therapy, surgery, biological therapy, targeted therapies, and stem cell transplant.

Dignity Health offers comprehensive care for leukemia in Arizona.