Our Chicago: Blood cancers in America, reading symptoms, new treatments

ByABC 7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Sunday, June 13, 2021
Our Chicago

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Last year, 180,000 Americans were diagnosed with blood cancers such as leukemia or lymphoma, and currently, 1.3 million are either living with these cancers or are in remission.

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Leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma and myelodysplasia are the four major areas of blood cancer, according to Kevin Radelet, Leukemia Research Foundation.

The Leukemia Research Foundation located in Chicago is looking to help fund research.

ABC7 Chicago partners with the foundation for the Annual ABC7 Gibbons 5K Run and 3K Walk which is taking place virtually June 17 through the 20. It honors Jim Gibbons who was a reporter here. He died from leukemia in 1994.

Kevin Radelet, executive director of the Leukemia Research Foundation, explained how common blood cancers are.

"They represent 10% of all cancers diagnosed annually in the United States," Radelet said.

Radelet said blood cancers do not discriminate.

"They can touch anyone, at any time, regardless of race, age, gender, ethnicity. Many think it's a childhood cancer, but it's diagnosed ten times more often in adults," Radelet said.

WATCH: Our Chicago Part 2

Loyola Medical Center's blood cancer treatment targets leukemia and lymphoma cells, said Dr. Patrick Stiff, Leukemia Research Foundation's Medical Advisory Board and Loyola Medical Center's Oncology Research Institute.

Finding new treatments and possibly a cure may be more likely, according to Dr. Patrick Stiff, chairman of the Leukemia Research Foundation's Medical Advisory Board and co-director of Loyola Medical Center's Oncology Research Institute.

"This is a renaissance if you will of new treatments for leukemia, " Dr. Stiff said. "Largely because we know what genetic defects are causing these cancers and now have specific, targeted therapies."

For more information: allbloodcancers.org.