Leukemia

You are here: 

Blood disorders

Blood disorders develop when the body makes too many or not enough red blood cells, white blood cells or platelets. Some of these disorders are not leukemias, but they can increase the risk of developing leukemia.

Myeloproliferative neoplasms

In myeloproliferative neoplasms, the body makes too many of, or overproduces, 1 or more types of blood cells. The overproduction starts when a single blood stem cell changes, or mutates, and reproduces. Certain myeloproliferative neoplasms may become acute myelogenous leukemia (AML).

There are 6 types of myeloproliferative neoplasms:

  • polycythemia vera (PV), which is also called polycythemia rubra vera
  • idiopathic myelofibrosis (IM), which is also called primary myelofibrosis
  • essential thrombocytosis (ET), which is also called essential thrombocythemia
  • chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML)
  • chronic neutrophilic leukemia (CNL)
  • chronic eosinophilic leukemia (CEL)

CML is the most common leukemia that is considered a myeloproliferative neoplasm. Find out more about chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML).

Myelodysplastic syndromes

Myelodysplastic syndromes are diseases in which the bone marrow does not make enough healthy mature blood cells. The immature blood cells, called blasts, do not work properly. They build up in the bone marrow and the blood. As a result, there are fewer healthy red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets.

Myelodysplastic/myeloproliferative neoplasms

Myelodysplastic/myeloproliferative neoplasms have characteristics of both myelodysplastic syndromes and myeloproliferative neoplasms.

The following are types of myelodysplastic/myeloproliferative neoplasms:

  • chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML)
  • atypical chronic myelogenous leukemia (aCML)
  • myelodysplastic/myeloproliferative neoplasm, unclassifiable (MDS/MPN-UC)

Stories

Norma Kehoe We need to support research into all causes of cancer in order to save lives.

Read Norma's story

Reducing the burden of cancer

Icon - hand with dollar sign floating above it

Canadians can help CCS fund the best research and support people living with cancer by donating and volunteering.

Learn more