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Need Info On Leukemia?

Leukemia and blood cancer discussion.

Need Info On Leukemia?

Postby Guglielmo » Sat Sep 30, 2017 8:43 am

i'm writing a novel about a teenager with Acute myeloid leukemia and need to know a few things:

When a patient is recieving chemotherapy for AML, is it required that you stay at that hospital nightly or can you go home in between each session? Also, is it possible for someone to have the disease for..lets say 5 months, go into remission for 3 months and then relapse after those 3 months? thank you to those of you who have actually taken the time to answer my questions, especially if you have had experience with this terrible disease. xxxx
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Need Info On Leukemia?

Postby Jarrel » Sat Sep 30, 2017 8:44 am

leukemia is a cancer of the blood or bone marrow and is characterized by an abnormal proliferation (production by multiplication) of blood cells, usually white blood cells (leukocytes). Leukemia is a broad term covering a spectrum of diseases. In turn, it is part of the even broader group of diseases called hematological neoplasms.

Acute myeloid leukemia (AML), also known as acute myelogenous leukemia, is a cancer of the myeloid line of blood cells, characterized by the rapid growth of abnormal white blood cells that accumulate in the bone marrow and interfere with the production of normal blood cells. AML is the most common acute leukemia affecting adults, and its incidence increases with age. Although AML is a relatively rare disease, accounting for approximately 1.2% of cancer deaths in the United States, its incidence is expected to increase as the population ages.

The symptoms of AML are caused by replacement of normal bone marrow with leukemic cells, which causes a drop in red blood cells, platelets, and normal white blood cells. These symptoms include fatigue, shortness of breath, easy bruising and bleeding, and increased risk of infection. Although several risk factors for AML have been identified, the specific cause of the disease remains unclear. As an acute leukemia, AML progresses rapidly and is typically fatal within weeks or months if left untreated.

Acute myeloid leukemia is a potentially curable disease; however, only a minority of patients are cured with current therapy. AML is treated initially with chemotherapy aimed at inducing a remission; patients may go on to receive additional chemotherapy or a hematopoietic stem cell transplant. Areas of active research in acute myeloid leukemia include further elucidation of the cause of AML, identification of better prognostic indicators, development of new methods of detecting residual disease after treatment, and the development of new drugs and targeted therapies.

Relapsed AML

Despite aggressive therapy, however, only 20%?30% of patients enjoy long-term disease-free survival. For patients with relapsed AML, the only proven potentially curative therapy is a stem cell transplant, if one has not already been performed. In 2000, the monoclonal antibody-linked cytotoxic agent gemtuzumab ozogamicin (Mylotarg) was approved in the United States for patients aged more than 60 years with relapsed AML who are not candidates for high-dose chemotherapy.

Patients with relapsed AML who are not candidates for stem cell transplantion, or who have relapsed after a stem cell transplant, may be offered treatment in a clinical trial, as conventional treatment options are limited. Agents under investigation include cytotoxic drugs such as clofarabine as well as targeted therapies such as farnesyl transferase inhibitors, decitabine, and inhibitors of MDR1 (multidrug-resistance protein). Since treatment options for relapsed AML are so limited, another option which may be offered is palliative care.

For relapsed acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL), arsenic trioxide has been tested in trials and approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Like ATRA, arsenic trioxide does not work with other subtypes of AML.
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Need Info On Leukemia?

Postby Jude » Sat Sep 30, 2017 8:47 am

My 2 1/2 year old son E was diagnosed with a Wilms' Tumour as a newborn, won his battle, and was recently diagnosed with Secondary Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML). AML is related to ALL but is still quite different. His cancer is most likely a secondary cancer caused by the chemotherapy his first time when he fought Wilms. E somehow passed his screenings he has every 3 months back in October but in the end of November we started to notice he wasn't quite himself, and he was diagnosed December 19th.

There are lots of symptoms of leukemia but each individual is different. Some display some symptoms while others display other ones. There's no actual tumour as in other cancers but leukemia is a cancer of the cells that create blood cells. E had a cold in November that he just couldn't kick. We took him to the doctor and he was given an antibiotic. He got a little better but as soon as he finished the antibiotic he got sick again. He usually has a couple bruises here and there since he is a 2 year old. His walking was greatly affected from one of the drugs in his first chemo cocktail so he trips and falls pretty often. But the bruising he had was more than usual - he bruised at the slightest bump. That's when we really knew something was wrong and took him to the doctor again. Once he was diagnosed we found out that his spleen and liver were enlarged - also symptoms of leukemia. Due to the extent of enlargement of his spleen, he had it removed after a round of chemotherapy. So far he has had 3 strong doses of induction chemo and 3 consolidation rounds, and he's labeled as being in remission! He still has 3-5 rounds of consolidation chemo left just to make sure all of the cancerous cells are gone.
He does stay in the hospital during his chemo.
His chemo lasts 7 days and he usually stays for up to 2 weeks. He will also have a bone marrow transplant when a donor becomes available.
The chances of relapse with AML are pretty high.
Since this is his second time fighting cancer he is considered at a greater risk for relapse so the bone marrow transplant is the best choice for him.

He had some joint pain at the time of diagnosis. I have to say I didn't really think too much of the joint pain because he doesn't walk well due to one of the previous chemotherapy drugs he had - Vincristine. Because of Vincristine his leg muscles are weaker and he walks with "slapfoot" or "dropfoot" and he trips and falls fairly often. I figured his joint pain was because of falling but since his diagnosis I now see that it was probably because of the leukemia. On treatment he has had a significant amount of bone and joint pain, especially early on. When it's clear that he is in pain, he does get pain meds to help. I think the painkillers do help him but I think even then he does have some pain but duller than without painkillers.

A leukemia diagnosis is absolutely not a death sentence. It's treatable but you have to keep in mind that it does take lives. I know many children and adults that have gone on to live completely normal lives after getting their No Evidence of Disease (NED) status. Sometimes a patient does relapse but it is absolutely possible that he or she can reach remission and eventually NED status.

I hope this helped you out some. If you have any more questions feel free to email me ([email protected]) or IM me (crazycanuckj).
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Need Info On Leukemia?

Postby Humility » Sat Sep 30, 2017 8:48 am

Alright. I survived AML Leukemia twice. I'll answer these as best as I can.

When you recieve chemo you have no energy to even move. I sucks you dry and it destroys your immune system to the point where there is nothing left. None. the average white blood cell count is 300-400. On a good day I had .3 or .4. Life sucks. You puke day in and day out. You puke even when there isn't anything to puke up then you puke up stomach acid and it burns your throat and then it hurts to breath. Your contained in your room. Only immediate family at times when you have no immune system. No friends, no pets. Only nurses, mom, and dad. Your in a filtered room with filtered air in a filtered part of the hospital behind two blast doors. Your attached to your IV pole. Literally. Sometimes when I got up to go to the bathroom I'd forget I was attached and I'd walk and it yank on my stiches. Sometimes it hurt so bad I just sat a cried. One day I just wanted to die. I didn't want to go on. Then I learned how many people missed me back home. All of my best friends (which was like 45 or 50 of em) shaved their head to look just like me. I couldn't see my dog. I was told she would look up the stairs waiting for me to come down from my room. She would sleep at the bottom of the stairs and whine. Then I saw her through the third story window. I smiled as tears slowly burned my eyes. Then I couldn't take it and I walked off and cried. I beat it. Then it came back. I went to fairview and recieved radiation to my spine (because cancer was in my spine), my brain, and I recieved Total Body Iradiation where I get blasted with radiation. It destroyed my bone marrow. Then came the Chemotherapy. This time they whipped out the really harsh stuff. Harsh as in if I got a miligram more than I was supposed to it could shut down my vital organs. If you character had cancer twice like I did she/he should have a bone marrow transplant. I had umbilical chord blood taken from the umbilical chord of baby. Garbage saved my life. I now have bleach bleach blond hair. Sometimes in the light it looks white. I had blond hair before but now It's completely bleached naturally. I have two DNA's. My blood changed from AB+ to A+.

I guess it is possible to have AML for 3 months and then relapse but highly unlikely. I had AML for a total of about 3 1/2 years.
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Need Info On Leukemia?

Postby Yardane » Sat Sep 30, 2017 8:49 am

Here is where you'll find the best info: http://www.leukemia-lymphoma.org/hm_lls

Best wishes
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Need Info On Leukemia?

Postby Pannoowau » Sat Sep 30, 2017 8:52 am

erm..not too sure about the course of acute leukemia, though i have B-PLL (a not so aggresive subtype) myself.. the girl in the ward next door has AML though and we both typically go home between cycles if there's nothing much in between =) but then again it depends on what tx regimen you're doing, it makes a lot of diff if you're on monoclonal antibody like rituxan or conventional CHOP..

hope this helps =p
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Need Info On Leukemia?

Postby Matt » Sat Sep 30, 2017 8:56 am

i'm a leukemia survivor of 21 years after a bonemarrow transplant. Bonemarrow transplant from a sibling, went properly, can or will treatment leukemia.Now even a random donor, no longer proper supplies you marrows, and the fulfillment fee is vey intense. Survival fee defers, relies upon on what variety of leukemia you have. Acute varieties ? likely won't stay extra desirable than a 12 months inspite of aggressive remedies. persistent leukemia sufferers, taken care of perfect can stay as long as and over 10 years or extra. preliminary symptoms are imprecise, fatigue, joint or bone swelling and discomfort, gum or nostril bleeding, ordinary or subnormal blood counts, and then extra progressed symptoms with plenty decrease white cellular counts, or very intense white cellular counts, and all different blood counts practice ordinary. As affliction advances some sufferers journey palpitations of the middle, fainting spells, fever...by using this time, docs particularly Hematologist will carry out a bonemarrow aspiration, and make certain the analysis. remedies commence with chemo scientific care, and Hematologists will see if the affected person could make the main of the marrow transplant. desire this helps :):}
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Need Info On Leukemia?

Postby Sewall » Sat Sep 30, 2017 9:11 am

1. One may go home in between two chemotherapy session.

2. Possible. Remission and relapse may happen at any time. There are also cases where no remission is achieved as also cases where remission is achieved after couple of sessions of chemotherapy.
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