Understanding Leukemia Cancer Types And Prognosis

By Alley Benton
Updated December 11, 2016
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Understanding Leukemia Cancer Types And PrognosisIf you've been diagnosed with leukemia, then chances are that you'll want to get as much information as possible about your condition, from the causes and symptoms you can expect, to your leukemia cancer prognosis. The first thing to know is that leukemia is cancer of the blood cells, which begins in the bone marrow, where blood cells are made. These cells could be white blood cells which help to fight infection, some are red blood cells to carry oxygen around the body, and some are platelets which help blood to clot.

When you have leukemia, your bone marrow makes abnormal white blood cells which do not do the same work of standard white blood cells. These cells also grow a lot faster than typical blood cells, and can crowd out the standard cells, leading to problems like infections, bleeding, and anemia.

The Types of Leukemia:

To understand what your leukemia cancer prognosis might be, you first need to know that this cancer comes in different forms. Generally, leukemia is grouped according to how quickly it progresses and the type of blood cells it affects. Leukemia might be chronic or acute. Acute chronic gets worse quickly and makes the people infected with it feel terrible immediately, while chronic leukemia gets worse slowly. At the same time, leukemia can be myelogenous or lymphocytic. Lymphocytic leukemia affects the white blood cells, and myelogenous leukemia affects other types of cells that normally become red blood cells, granulocytes, or platelets.

The main forms of leukemia are:

- Chronic myelogenous leukemia

- Chronic lymphocytic leukemia

- Acute myelogenous leukemia

- Acute lymphoblastic leukemia

Your leukemia cancer prognosis will depend on the type of leukemia you are diagnosed with.

Survival Rates for Five Years or More:

Relative survival statistics for leukemia compare the survival of patients who have been diagnosed with leukemia with the survival rates of people in the general population with the same race, age, sex, and other factors. Importantly, because these survival rates are based on large groups of people, they can't always be used to predict exactly what's going to happen to any specific patient. No two people with leukemia are alike, and responses to treatment options can vary. This is why it's important to talk to your doctor about your leukemia cancer prognosis.

Based on data from SEER the standard survival rate for five years or more with people leukemia is 59.7%. Death rates related to leukemia are generally much higher among the elderly, and people with this condition have a wide range of potential options available for them for treatment. In many circumstances, treatment for leukemia can be excellent at controlling the symptoms of the disease. However, leukemia currently remains to be the seventh leading cause of cancer related deaths in the U.S.

One important thing to keep in mind is that rates for new leukemia cases have been rising at around 0.3% each year across the last decade, but death rates have been falling by around 1.0% percent each year too.

* Disclaimer:
This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.