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Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Survival Rate

 

Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Survival Rate

Chronic lympocytic leukemia is one version of a group of cancers of the blood, bone marrow and lymph systems. It is characterized by the appearance of excessive numbers of immature white blood cells. In the chronic lymphocytic variation of the disease, too many lymphocytes are produced, leading to infection, anemia and easy bleeding.

Characteristics

This disease is a slow-developing one that usually appears in middle age or later. It is rarely found in children. Over 7,000 new cases are diagnosed each year, and it is the second most common form of leukemia found in adults. In its early phase, the disease manifests as painless swellings in the lymph nodes, pain or fullness below the ribs, extreme tiredness, fever and weight loss with no known reason. It is often diagnosed by doctors during a routine check up before any symptoms appear.

Prognosis

The long-term survival prospects of a patient with chronic lymphocytic leukemia depends on many factors, including the age and general condition of the patient, how advanced the disease is when first found and how abnormal the cells are once detected. The response to treatment is also a factor, particularly if the disease recurs after a round of treatment is complete.

The long term

Doctors tend to measure survival rates in five year terms. Assuming no unusual complications, the overall five year rate for patients with this disease is 74.2 percent, with Caucasian women having the best rate at 77.1 percent and African-American women the worst at 62.2 percent. This is a disease of older people, with few deaths occurring before age 54. The median age of death is 78 years of age.

New treatments and therapies are under development for chronic lymphocytic leukemia with the goal of extending survival rates and improving quality of life.

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