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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I am diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML), will i live?

Acute Myeloid Leukemia is a frequent cancer of the blood cells. It's frequency increases with the increasing of age. Before treatment existed this type of cancer was totally mortal, and with the therapy that is used nowadays, its survival rate is bigger, up to 90 % in case of Acute promyelocitic leukemia. It is thought that one of the main causes of this Leukemia, is the BENZENE exposure.

So, lets start with the basics. As of the FAB classification, your disease can be classified in 8 groups, from AML-M0 to AML-M7.
The worst prognosis is AML-M0, and the best prognosis is AML-M3.

As of the WHO classification that is more recent and more concise, a person can have:
Leukemia from chromosomal trans-location
Leukemia from myelodisplasia
Leukemia from treatment
Leukemia of unknown origin

Of this 4 cases, the leukemia from treatment may have the best prognosis.

If you suffer from AML-M3 (Acute promyelocitic leukemia), the treatment of choice will be ATRA (All trans retinoic acid). The survival rate will be great, up to 90% after 5 years.

If you suffer from all other forms, the treatment is as follows:
One cycle of INDUCTION: You use 3 days of anthracyclines, and 7 days of ARA-C.
One cycle of CONSOLIDATION: In the start of this phase, the cancer cells will be really low. If this second cycle is successful, you will be safe, no more cancer in your body. But the success of this phase depends on the prognostic factors of your leukemia.
First of all, your age. The older you are (over 70), the more difficult will be. But you still have the possibility to survive. Other prognostic factors are the chromosomal trans-locations that are present in your genotype.
Good Prognosis:  t(8;21), t(15;17), inv(16)
Intermediate Prognosis: Normal, +8, +21, +22, del(7q), del(9q), Abnormal 11q23, all other structural or numerical     changes
Bad Prognosis: -5, -7, del(5q), Abnormal 3q, Complex cytogenetics

Will YOU Live?

Well, you have to fight! It's a battle that you have just started, but you have to be strong, physically and mentally. Be very collaborative with your physician, and take your pills very regularly. The chances to survive after 5 years are up to 70 % in general. YOU HAVE TO BE IN THAT 70 % !!!!!!

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