Most Common Types of Blood Cancers in Adults

Your blood, accounting for 8% of your total body weight plays a vital role in how your body functions. By circulating throughout your vascular system, blood supplies all your organs with nutrients, oxygen, antibodies, and hormones. Blood is made up of plasma and blood cells (red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets). Abnormal or excessive reproduction of white blood cells is the most common cause of blood cancer. While many are not as familiar with blood cancers as those affecting the breasts, lung, or colon, this subgroup of cancer accounts for over 10 percent of annual cancer diagnoses. Originating from the cells within the blood, there are many different types of blood cancers ranging from aggressive to the slow-growing. Let’s have a look at some of the most common types of blood cancers occurring in adults:

Most Common Types of Blood Cancers in Adults

Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

It is a type of cancer that occurs in the lymph system, a part of the body’s immune system. Depending on the source of origin cell- B,T, or NK, there are many types of NHL that a person may develop. The majority of the NHL in adults is large B cell lymphoma that grows at a rapid rate and follicular lymphoma which grows slowly.

What are the symptoms?

Although some people report no blood cancer symptoms when suffering from lymphoma, they may still have enlarged lymph nodes or abnormal blood counts. Others might experience fever, sweat, fatigue, and weight-loss.

Treatments may include:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Stem cell transplant
  • Targeted therapy
  • Radiation therapy

Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

This type of cancer occurs when the bone marrow makes B lymphocytes- a type of blood cell in access. Mostly, those in their middle ages or older ages are affected by this slow-growing cancer.

What are the symptoms?

Many patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia show no symptoms while others experience swelling of the lymph nodes in the neck, fatigue and weight loss.

Treatment may include:

Chemotherapy (including a number of immune-based therapies and new oral drugs)

Acute Myeloid Leukemia

It is a type of fast-growing cancer in which abnormal amounts of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets are produced by the bone marrow. It is the most common type of acute leukemia in adults.

What are the symptoms?

Early signs and symptoms of AML include easy bruising or bleeding and fatigue.

Treatment may include:

Chemotherapy alone,


Chemotherapy followed by a stem cell transplant

Blood cancer treatment for AML comprises two phases- remission induction treatment and post-remission therapy.