• Question: why do people suffering from leukemia survive after 18 years and above

    Asked by abpb279 to Cheryl, Christina, Daniel, George, Ivy on 24 Jan 2017.
    • Photo: Cheryl Andisi

      Cheryl Andisi answered on 24 Jan 2017:

      Leukemia, also known as blood cancer is a disease where the bone marrow starts making and releasing many abnormal blood cells. White blood cells are the main cells affected but red blood cells can also be affected. This suppresses the formation of other blood cells and leads to anemia among other conditions. The type of leukemia is classified according to the type of cell affected and whether it is chronic or acute.
      Leukemia, occurs mostly in adults above the age of 55 and sometimes children aged below 15 years. In Kenya, there is a research team based at Moi University in Eldoret who are trying to understand the age distribution among other factors of leukemia in Kenya. Other studies I have seen in Kenya were done in the 70s- very old so maybe not applicable today!
      Treatment of leukemia depends on the type of leukemia, certain features of the leukemia cells, the extent of the disease, and prior history of treatment, as well as the age and health of the patient.
      Most patients with leukemia are treated with chemotherapy. Some patients also may have radiation therapy and/or bone marrow transplantation.