Blood Cancer/Blood and Marrow Transplant at the University of Colorado Cancer Center
Blood cancers attack the blood, bone marrow or the lymphatic system. You may know them by names like leukemia, Hodgkin lymphoma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, myelodysplasia and myeloma, but many of those names are not as fearsome as they used to be.
In fact, the most focused, specialized care teams can reduce many kinds of cancers into treatable and even curable diseases.
The right team, right here
You’ll need the right team. Here at University of Colorado Hospital and the University of Colorado Cancer Center, you’ll find the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in the Rocky Mountain region (and one of only 40 in the United States).
You’ll also find some of the country’s leading specialists in blood cancers and in getting patients (and their families) back on their feet.
What is Blood & Marrow Stem Cell Transplantation?
Chemotherapy and radiation are used to treat cancer by killing cancerous cells, but they can damage blood cells and cells in the bone marrow. This damage can lead to life-threatening side effects including low blood counts, infection and bleeding.
Blood and marrow stem cell transplantation allows cells that have been damaged during high doses of chemotherapy and radiation to be replaced.
Learn more about this process
Choosing to undergo a blood or marrow stem cell transplant is a major decision that is often made under the pressure and crisis of severe illness. Patients must cope with:
- Understanding complicated medical information
- Mixed emotions about whether or not a suitable donor will be found
- The possibility of severe side effects and other transplant risks
- Financial strains
- The challenges of a long hospital stay - much of it in isolation
The experience is usually psychologically difficult. Still, many patients have successful results and return to their normal activities. It is important to learn as much as possible about the blood and marrow transplant process before making this decision.
Getting a Second Opinion
A diagnosis of blood cancer can be a devastating, major event in your life. It is important to feel comfortable with your doctors and the members of the team who will care for you, as well as their plan for your care. We are equipped with excellent facilities and expertise and would be happy to offer a second opinion.
Similarly, if you want a second opinion from another academic medical institution after we have seen you, we encourage you to do so. For the most comprehensive evaluation and expertise, we encourage you to seek an opinion from another academic medical center with National Cancer Institute designation.
Blood & Marrow Transplant Support Groups
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society offers support groups or the chance to talk with a successfully treated patient who has the same diagnosis.
Additional Blood & Marrow Transplant Resources
Leukemia & Lymphoma Society or (800) 955-4572
National Marrow Donor Program
National Cancer Institute or (800) 4-CANCER
Just as important as finding the best team of physicians, nurses and staff is finding a team of people who know that cancer is more than a physical disease and are committed to treating each patient as a whole person. At the CU Cancer Center, the same caring team of doctors and support professionals will be with you throughout your entire journey.
While most of the cancer centers in the country have separate blood cancer and blood and marrow transplant programs, our programs are combined.
Together, they give you critically important continuity of care from your first meeting to your evaluation, treatment and aftercare.
- Your team is made up of experts from many fields: surgeons, oncologists, pathologists, radiologists, nurses, social workers, geneticists and counselors. Most specialize specifically in blood cancer treatment and support. They review your test results, your progress and discuss the next best step in your care with each other and with you.
- All your records, consultations, test results and all the provider notes about you and your treatment’s history are in an electronic medical record, available to all the doctors within the University of Colorado Hospital system who may be called in from all our specialties to help treat you and your condition.
- You also have access to complementary and alternative medicine through our doctor-led Center for Integrative Medicine.
We’re proud to say that cancer treatment at UCH includes compassionate support and education for you and your entire support network.
Advanced Research and Treatment
At the regional leader in cancer research, treatment and support, you get specialized care not available anywhere else in Colorado.
- World-renowned experts in cancer diagnosis and staging, which are the first steps for getting proper cancer care.
- For transplant patients and others, there are facilities specifically designed to protect weakened immune systems.
- Access to many new treatments, including the latest drugs and vaccines for treating blood cancers, through our involvement in clinical trials.