Focused on you

Our specialists in blood cancers use the latest treatments that are tailored to best fit your needs.

Schedule now
a smiling multiple myeloma doctor looks at a colleague

Blood Cancer

At MUSC Hollings Cancer Center, our board-certified hematologist oncologists specialize in diseases of the blood and plasma, including:

At Hollings, you will have access to potentially lifesaving and disease-altering resources and care. Our sophisticated radiation oncology therapies, immunotherapy programs, quality blood and marrow transplant (BMT) program and clinical trials led by our physician-scientists allow our providers to tailor treatment to your needs.

Graphic with geometric patterns in the background that reads High Performing Hosptial | University Medical Center | High Performing Hospitals U.S. News & World Report 2023 to 2024 | Leukemia, Lymphoma & Myeloma.

In good hands

You know you're in good hands at MUSC Hollings Cancer Center, the state’s only National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center. Here, you have access to the latest innovations in cancer treatment, including clinical trials, advanced surgical techniques, support services and survivorship planning. You can rest easy knowing we hold national rankings for cancer care and take a leadership role in cancer research and prevention.

The Hollings difference

What are blood and lymphatic cancers?

Your circulatory system and lymphatic system work together to bring oxygen and nutrients to organs, remove waste and fight infection.

Your blood contains red blood cells that carry oxygen into the body and carbon dioxide out of the body; white blood cells that fight infection; platelets that clot when you are cut; and plasma, which accounts for just over half of the contents of your blood. Lymph, or lymphatic fluid, collects any remaining waste that wasn’t picked up by the circulatory system.

Sometimes, something goes wrong in the production of blood or lymphatic cells. Abnormal, cancerous cells begin to accumulate and crowd out normal, healthy cells. Depending on where they start, these cancerous cells may form leukemia, lymphoma or multiple myeloma. Understanding the specific type of blood cancer that you have will determine your treatment options.

Blood cancer symptoms

Leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma and other blood diseases often don’t have signs or symptoms at first. When you do have symptoms, they are often the same as symptoms for more common conditions, like the flu or an infection. Some of the symptoms in common across these conditions include:

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss without trying
  • Night sweats
  • Decreased appetite
  • Easy bleeding or bruising
  • Swollen lymph nodes

For information about symptoms specific to each type of blood or lymphatic cancer, visit the leukemia, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma pages.

It shows what these people at Hollings are doing. They took me – and I was really struggling when I came here in November – and in a little bit over three months, they turned me around.

Ted Kopacko, CAR-T cell therapy patient and lymphoma survivor

Ted's story
a smiling man wearing a leather jacket

I know it's cancer, but I’ve had many friends go through breast cancer, and their chemo is just so bad. And I've been blessed because mine hasn’t been like that.

Wanda Suggs, multiple myeloma survivor

Wanda's story
a woman wearing sunglasses sits outside on a bench with a small dog in her lap

When I got to MUSC and Hollings and met my team, they were so thorough in their care. I can’t say enough good things.

Vance Kennedy, leukemia survivor

Vance's story
a man sings on stage holding a microphone


Blood cancer treatment

Hollings has a proud history of treating people with blood and lymphatic cancers. Even before the cancer center was formed, our founding oncologist, Robert Stuart, M.D., performed the first bone marrow transplant in South Carolina in 1987. Since then, our researchers and doctors have continued to collaborate to improve treatment for these cancers.

Treatment for blood cancers can include:

Specialized services for blood and lymphatic cancer

  • HOPE Unit. The Hematologic Oncologic Protective Environment unit on the 7th floor of MUSC Health’s Ashley River Tower is a technologically advanced inpatient unit designed for immunocompromised patients that uses the same sophisticated HEPA filtration system found in operating rooms.
  • Total Skin Electron Beam Therapy. Hollings is the only cancer center in South Carolina to offer total skin electron beam therapy, a highly specialized form of radiation therapy, for the treatment of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma.
  • Charleston Hope Lodge. The American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge, which provides free housing for patients and a companion, is located one block from Hollings.

Refer a blood cancer patient

To refer a blood cancer patient to Hollings, please call patient referral coordinator Debra Oree at 843-985-0567.

Nurse navigator support

Our blood and lymphatic cancer nurse navigators, Bonnie Boyce, BSN, RN, OCN, and Katie Fitzmaurice, RN, BSN, CPN, will help you understand what to expect during treatment and answer questions you may have.

illustration of CAR T cells attacking cancer cells

Delivering cutting-edge care

For certain patients, Hollings offers CAR-T cell therapy, which is an innovative treatment that can be very powerful. In the lab, your T-cells are primed to attack a protein found on cancer cells and then returned to your body as more efficient and effective cancer fighters.

CAR-T Cell Therapy

Our experts specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of blood and lymphatic cancers. Our team will develop a customized treatment plan designed to give you the best possible outcome.

Dr. Katie Schmitt guides a patient doing a physical therapy exercise with a metal bar

Support from start to finish

We pride ourselves on our holistic approach to cancer care. We offer you many resources to help you throughout your cancer journey, including financial counseling, physical therapy, nutrition services, and support groups.

Patient Resources

Blood & Lymphatic Cancer Care Locations

MUSC Hollings Cancer Center Downtown

86 Jonathan Lucas Street

Charleston, SC 29425

Scheduling: 843-792-9300

Hematology Oncology Hollings

Hollings Cancer Center

86 Jonathan Lucas Street

Floor: Two & Three

Charleston, SC 29425

Scheduling: 843-792-9300

Hematology Oncology East Cooper

East Cooper Medical Pavilion

1600 Midtown Avenue

Floor: 3

Mount Pleasant, SC 29464

Scheduling: 843-792-9300

Hematology Oncology Elms Center

2575 Elms Center Road

Suite: 100

North Charleston, SC 29406

Scheduling: 843-792-9300

Benign Hematology at Ashley River Tower

Ashley River Tower

25 Courtenay Drive

Floor: 2

Charleston, SC 29425

Scheduling: 843-792-9200

Hematology Oncology Florence

Florence Medical Center

Medical Mall A

805 Pamplico Highway

Suite: 315

Florence, SC 29505

Scheduling: 843-792-9300

MUSC Health H.F. Mabry Cancer Center

1161 Cook Road

Orangeburg, SC 29118

Oncology Infusion Clinic Kershaw

1315 Roberts Street

Camden, South Carolina 29020

Blood cancer risk factors

Leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma and other blood and lymphatic cancers can occur in anyone. Most of the risk factors for these conditions aren’t things that you can change. However, Hollings always encourages healthy behaviors, like maintaining a healthy weight, eating a healthy diet filled with vegetables and fruit, exercising, and not smoking or stopping smoking. These lifestyle factors can reduce your risk of many types of cancer and can help you to be in better condition going into treatment if you should be diagnosed with cancer.

Some of the blood cancer risk factors include:

  • Age. The risk of blood cancers generally goes up with age. However, some blood cancers, like acute lymphoblastic leukemia, are found in children. Hodgkin lymphoma is most likely to be diagnosed in people over age 65 or in young adulthood.
  • Sex. Hodgkin lymphoma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, multiple myeloma and leukemia are somewhat more common among men than women.
  • Smoking. Smoking has been linked to acute myeloid leukemia, one of the most common types of leukemia.
  • Genetic disorders. Some genetic conditions have been linked to blood cancers. People with Down syndrome are at increased risk of leukemia. Li-Fraumeni syndrome is linked to several types of cancer, including acute myeloid leukemia. Hollings has a Hereditary Cancer Clinic that can help people with hereditary risk factors (mutations inherited from your parents) to manage their risk.
  • Previous chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Being treated for a previous cancer with certain chemotherapy drugs or with radiation can increase the chance of leukemia.

Latest blood cancer news