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Introduction to Lymphoid cancers

November 25, 2010

Hello readers!  My name is Dr. Joseph Connors, and I’m the clinical director at the BC Cancer Agency’s Centre for Lymphoid Cancer.  I’ve worked at the BC Cancer Agency for nearly 30 years as a medical oncologist.

I’d like to start by explaining a bit about lymphoid cancers and why I’ve chosen to dedicate my work to this area.

Lymphoid cancers are cancers that start in the lymphocytes — a type of white blood cell.  Lymphoid cancers can affect anyone, and incidence of these cancers is growing faster than any other kind in North America.

Lymphoid cancers are now the fourth most common cancer in North America for both men and women and if trends continue, they will soon be the third most common type.

There are already highly effective treatments for most lymphoid cancers, and we can cure many patients — even when the disease is fairly advanced.  But these treatments can also be difficult to tolerate and in some cases, may only cure about 50 per cent of patients.

Our mission at the Centre for Lymphoid Cancer is to better understand these cancers so that we can develop better diagnostic tools and more effective treatments so that ultimately, our patients will have improved chances for survival.

I"ll provide an example of this mission in an upcoming post, but please feel free to comment if you have specific questions.