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Leukemia Information

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The Daily Zoo

by Chris Ayers

When I started drawing an animal a day in 2006 on the one-year anniversary of my April 1st leukemia diagnosis (that’s right, I was told that I had cancer on April Fools’ Day!), I certainly had no idea that I would still be adding to this collection over three thousand days later. In fact, at that time, I wasn’t sure whether I would still be alive nine years later.

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Get the Facts on Myelofibrosis

Myelofibrosis is a rare bone mar­row cancer in which the marrow is replaced by fibrous (scar) tissue. Myelofibrosis can occur on its own, called primary myelofibrosis, or as a progression of other bone marrow diseases. Myelofibrosis belongs to a group of closely related blood cancers, known as myeloproliferative neoplasms, in which the bone marrow cells that produce the body’s blood cells develop and function abnormally. The result is excessive fibrous tissue formation in the bone marrow, which can lead to severe anemia, weakness, fatigue, and an enlarged spleen and liver.

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Questions and Answers about Lymphedema

by Stanley G. Rockson, MD, FACP, FACC

Lymphedema is the accumulation of a protein-rich body fluid called lymph, typically in one part of the body, when the lymphatic system for fluid transport is damaged. For example, if lymph nodes are removed from the armpit region during breast cancer treatment, lymphedema can occur in that arm.

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Diagnosis: CLL

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia is a type of cancer in which the bone marrow makes too many lympho­cytes (a type of white blood cell). CLL, a slow-growing blood and bone marrow disease, is one of the most common types of leukemia in adults.

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How Is Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Treated?

Treatment options and recommen­dations for people with chronic myeloid leukemia depend on several factors, including the phase of the disease, possible side effects, and your preferences and overall health. Take time to learn about your treatment options, and be sure to ask questions about things that are unclear. Also, dis­cuss the goals of each treatment with your doctor and ask what you can expect while receiving the treatment.

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Treating Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia

Different types of treat­ment are available for people with chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). Some treatments are standard (the currently used treat­ment), and some are being tested in clinical trials. The six types of standard treatment used to treat CML are tar­geted therapy, chemotherapy, biologic therapy, high-dose chemotherapy with stem cell transplant, donor lymphocyte infusion, and surgery.

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Realistic Optimism in Cancerville

by William Penzer, PhD

Not knowing what will happen brings out the frightened, con­fused, and overwhelmed parts of us in all life’s areas, and especially in Cancerville. The philosophy of realis­tic optimism seeks to offset our automatic pessimistic reactions. It strives to replace hopelessness with hopefulness, within realistic boundaries.

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What Happens Once CML Treatment Begins?

To assess your response to treatment for chronic myelogenous leukemia, you will need to undergo blood and marrow tests before and during treatment. These tests include complete blood count (CBC), cytogenetic analysis, and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (QPCR). How often you will need these tests depends on the time since your treatment started and your previous test results. There are three different types of response to medications.

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