Patient Support FAQs

  1. What are the key facts I need to know about blood?

    What is Blood?

    Click on the link below for a 2½ minute video explanation from American Blood Centers: 

    What are White Blood Cells?

    White blood cells help fight infection. There are several types of white blood cells.

    What are Red Blood Cells?

    Red blood cells carry oxygen to all tissues in the body; the oxygen is required for the tissues to survive.

    What are Platelets?

    Platelets help form blood clots that control bleeding.

    What are Neutrophils?

    Neutrophils are the most abundant type of white blood cells. They form an essential part of the immune system.

    What is Hemoglobin?

    Hemoglobin is a component of red blood cells with the capacity to store oxygen obtained from the lungs, and transfer it to tissues throughout the body.

    What are Blast Cells?

    Blast cells are immature cells found in bone marrow. They are not fully developed, and therefore do not yet carry out any particular function within the body. In healthy people, up to five percent of the cells found in bone marrow are blast cells.

    When a higher percentage is found, this may indicate a disorder. Generally in leukemia, too many white blood cells remain as blast cells.

    What are Lymph Nodes?

    Lymph nodes are oval-shaped masses of tissue that act as filters for a fluid called lymph. They are responsible for removing cell waste and ultimately help the body fight off infection.

    What is Bone Marrow?

    Bone marrow is a sponge-like tissue that fills the cores of larger bones. It serves the important function of producing all three types of blood cells, as well as lymphocytes, which support the immune system. Transplants are frequently performed in patients whose own marrow has become diseased. Additionally, marrow is a major source of stem cells, which can be harvested for certain medical treatments.

    What is a Monoclonal Antibody?

    A monoclonal antibody is a laboratory-produced molecule that's carefully engineered to attach to specific markers on your cancer cells. Monoclonal antibodies mimic the antibodies your body naturally produces as part of your immune system's response to germs, vaccines and other invaders.

    The immune system attacks foreign invaders in your body, but it doesn't always recognize cancer cells as enemies. A monoclonal antibody can be directed to attach to certain parts of a cancer cell. In this way, the antibody marks the cancer cell and makes it easier for the immune system to find.

    What’s the Difference Between Lymphocytic and Myelogenous (Myeloid) Leukemia?

    Leukemia is classified according to the type of white blood cell that is affected:

    • Lymphocytic Leukemia: This type of leukemia affects the lymphoid cells (lymphocytes), which specifically identify foreign molecules and cells.
    • Myelogenous Leukemia: This type of leukemia affects the myeloid cells. Myeloid cells give rise to all other blood cells, including white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets.

    What Happens When Leukemia Occurs?

    For an explanation related to CLL click the link below: 

    For an explanation related to ALL click the link below: 

    For an explanation related to CML click the link below: 

    For an explanation related to AML click the link below: 

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