Leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma

This page has information on leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma.


Leukaemias are cancers of the white blood cells, which begin in the bone marrow. This information refers to four types of leukaemia:

  • acute lymphocytic leukaemia
  • chronic lymphocytic leukaemia
  • acute myeloid leukaemia
  • chronic myeloid leukaemia.

Leukaemias are grouped in two ways:

  • the type of white blood cell affected - lymphoid or myeloid
  • how quickly the disease develops and gets worse - acute leukaemia appears suddenly and grows quickly, while chronic leukaemia appears gradually and develops slowly over months or years.

For more information on leukaemia go to the Cancer Council website.

For more information about acute myeloid leukaemia including information on investigations, diagnosis and treatment go to the outline of the cancer pathway for acute myeloid leukaemia on the Cancer Council website.


Lymphomas are the most common form of haematological or blood cancer in Australia, and the sixth most common form of cancer overall.

There are two main types of lymphoma - non-Hodgkin lymphoma and Hodgkin lymphoma - which spread and are treated differently. Around 90% of lymphomas are non-Hodgkin.

For more information on lymphoma go to the Cancer Council website.


Myeloma is a type of cancer that develops from plasma cells in the bone marrow. 

Myeloma is often called multiple myeloma because 90% of people have multiple bone lesions at the time it is diagnosed.

Bone marrow is found in multiple areas of the body, including the spine, skull, shoulders, ribs and pelvis.

For more information on myeloma go to the Cancer Council website.

Last updated: 12 May 2016

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