In the last 40 years, the leukemia survival rate has increased from a mere 14 percent to over 40 percent. This is due to improvements in methods of treatment and advances in technology. Leukemia is a very severe type of cancer that begins in the body’s cells that are responsible for forming new blood cells in the body. In a person with no cancer, white and red blood cells are formed in the bone marrow, from within the stem cells. With leukemia, the white blood cell count is increased significantly in the patient. Blood cells grow abnormally in a patient with leukemia, which produces dysfunctional blood cells. The leukemia survival rate is among the lowest of all forms of cancer.
Types of Leukemia
Leukemia is actually a broad medical term that encompasses many types of blood cancer. Each type of leukemia varies on the type of blood cells that are affected and how quickly the disease progresses. The leukemia survival rate varies among different types of leukemia. All types of leukemia can be classified into either the chronic leukemia category or the acute category. With acute leukemia, the dysfunctional blood cells grow quickly, while with chronic leukemia, these dysfunctional blood cells are produced gradually.
- Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia affects mainly adults. This type of leukemia affects the lymphocytic cells, which are a type of white blood cells. This is a chronic leukemia with a gradual onset.
- Chronic Myeloid Leukemia also mostly affects adults. This type of leukemia targets the myeloid cells, which are another type of white blood cell. This type of leukemia also has a slow onset.
- Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia affects many children. This is actually the most common type of leukemia that children of which children are afflicted. This type of cancer damages the lymphocytic cells.
- Acute Myeloid Leukemia affects adults and children. This type of leukemia also progresses very quickly. This leukemia causes damage to the myeloid cells.
Leukemia Treatment Options to Increase Survival Rate
Most leukemia patients are expected to live for another five years after their initial leukemia diagnosis. This is a general estimate, and the leukemia survival rate among patients varies greatly. After diagnosis, medications and chemotherapy are typically used to treat all types of leukemia. Some patients see quick, positive results; others see little to no results from their treatment. A bone marrow transplant is sometimes recommended by a physician to treat leukemia that is unresponsive to medications and chemotherapy.
Children’s Leukemia Survival Rate
Leukemia survival rate in children is much higher than that of adults. Children are more likely to be diagnosed with acute types of leukemia, especially Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia. The leukemia survival rate, after five years, for children with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia is approximately 80 percent. The leukemia survival rate in children with Acute Myeloid Leukemia is a much lower 40 percent.
Adult Leukemia Survival Rate
Adults are diagnosed with chronic leukemia more often than acute leukemia. This leaves their leukemia survival rate much lower than that of children, at times. Approximately 40 percent of adults will survive for five more years after their initial leukemia diagnosis. The leukemia survival rate drops to 35 percent in adults afflicted with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia.
The medical and scientific community is always striving to produce new treatments and medications to increase the leukemia survival rate among children and adults. No one knows the cause of leukemia, and why some get it and others do not, however, many medical professionals are under the agreement that hazardous-chemical exposure and exposure to radiation are possible triggers. The leukemia survival rate averages out at 43 percent for people of all age groups, with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia having the highest leukemia survival rate among all types of leukemia.