- acute myeloid leukemia (AML)
- acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)
- chronic myeloid leukemia (CML)
- chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)
- hairy cell leukemia
- Less than 5% cancerous white blood cells = Chronic Phase
- More than 5% but less than 30% = Accelerated Phase
- More than 30% = Acute Phase
Leukemia can affect both children and adults. the main difference is the type of leukemia they will have. The most common form of leukemia in adults is chronic lymphocytic leukemia or CLL. Children most commonly will have acute lymphoblastic leukemia or ALL.
Leukemia can be diagnosed through a physical exam, blood tests, or bone marrow biopsy. A doctor can also order a cytogenetics study, spinal tap, and/or a chest xray. A cytogenetics study is where they will look at the chromosomes of your blood, lymph nodes, or bone marrow to look for abnormal chromosomes. If abnormal chromosomes are detected they are able to identify the type of leukemia a person has. In the U.S. over 230,000 children and adults are affected by leukemia. There is approximately 44,600 people diagnosed each year and 21,780 will lose the fight against it.
- Keeping a close eye on progression
- Biological Therapy (use of medicine to increase bodies natural defenses)
- Stem Cell Transplant
Today survival rates are just over 50% passed the five year mark. Chronic Lymphositic Leukemia (CLL) survival rate for more than five years is nearly 76%. More astonishingly is the survival rate for children diagnosed when they were under the age of five. Their survival rate is 90%!
Negative factors for survival include:
- aggresive formation of blast cells
- enlarged spleen
- over the age of 60
- blood platelet count that is extremely high or low
Once in remission some patients may have to under go maintenance treatments to help keep the cancer in remission.