Important information

A person with a suspected blood (haematological) cancer should be referred to a haematologist who is a member of a relevant multidisciplinary team.

All specialists listed on Canrefer are members of a multidisciplinary team.


What is blood cancer?

A blood or haematological cancer is cancer that starts in the blood or bone marrow. There are different types of blood cancers including leukaemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma, and myelodysplastic syndrome. 

Graphic of the human body highlighting the blood system


What tests are needed?

Common tests used to diagnose a blood cancer include:

  • physical examination
  • blood tests
  • imaging - ultrasound, X-ray, CT scan and/or PET scan
  • bone marrow aspiration and/or biopsy
  • biopsy
  • lumbar puncture.


What treatment options are there?

Treatment for blood cancer may include one or more of the following:

  • surgery
  • chemotherapy
  • targeted therapy
  • radiotherapy.

If treatment is specialised and complex, patients may need to travel to have part of their treatment. The local health district will have an arrangement in place for this.


How common is blood cancer in NSW?

Blood or haematological cancer was diagnosed in:

  • 2015
    4718 people in NSW 
  • 2014
    4623 people in NSW
  • 2013
    4510 people in NSW
Data source: Cancer statistics NSW portal (sourced from Institute Data Warehouse, Cancer Institute NSW. Available at:

Last updated: 22 February 2019