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A 32-year-old member asked:

can leukemia come and go before finally getting bad?

2 doctor answers2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Thomas Chen
Internal Medicine 33 years experience
Yes: There are many types of leukemia. Some are so-called chronic leukemias that can persist for long periods of time before they need to be treated.
Dr. Steven Ginsberg
Hematology and Oncology 37 years experience
Yes: Leukemia can be treated and go into remission, and can then recur. It can be a fatal illness.

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A 21-year-old member asked:

How is leukemia treated?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Stephen Noga
Medical Oncology 34 years experience
Drugs +/- radiation: Various chemotherapy drugs and new targeted therapies are used that preferentially kill cancer cells while minimizing side effects. Sometimes radiation is used alone or in addition to drugs depending on the type and stage of cancer. This is a discussion you will have with your cancer team during which you should have ample opportunity to ask questions. Take a pad and paper with you.
A 21-year-old member asked:

Is leukemia fatal?

2 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Stephen Noga
Medical Oncology 34 years experience
It can be: There are different kinds of leukemia.The more aggressive acute leukemias are the most serious in that they grow quickly and can lead to death if not treated promptly. On the other hand, these have a chance of being cured depending on the type of leukemia, the age and performance status of the patient, etc. On the other hand chronic leukemias as a rule do not progress quickly but are rarely cured.
A 21-year-old member asked:

What is leukemia?

3 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Stephen Noga
Medical Oncology 34 years experience
Blood cell cancer: Leukemia is cancer of one of the bone marrow cells. The cells start growing quickly and either enter the blood stream where they are first detected or build up in the bone marrow where people are diagnosed after becoming ill from infection or bleeding because the normal blood cells are crowded out and can't do their jobs. Granulocytes, lymphocytes, red cells and platelets can turn cancerous.
A 21-year-old member asked:

Who gets leukemia?

3 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Stephen Noga
Medical Oncology 34 years experience
Anyone but rarely: Leukemia, although frightening, is a rare disease. Outside of children, many adults do die from the acute disease although this is not the case with the chronic leukemias. Although there are a few things that may increase the chance of getting leukemia (high doses of radiation, previous treatment of cancer, down's syndrome, some chemicals), no cause can be found in most cases.
A 21-year-old member asked:

What can I do to reduce my risk of leukemia?

2 doctor answers2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Stephen Noga
Medical Oncology 34 years experience
Moderation: It sounds cliche but exposures to things which cause cancer are usually a lifetime exposure issue as compared to a one time occurrence. This is why occupational (longterm) exposure to certain carcinogens or environmental agents (smoking) can increase the risk.

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Last updated Aug 27, 2013

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