Leukemia - What Happens
Your bone marrow is where stem cells grow. These stem cells become white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets.
In most cases of
leukemia, there are too many abnormal
white blood cells. These leukemia cells crowd out the
normal blood cells in your
bone marrow and build up in your
lymph nodes, liver, and
leukemia cells crowd out your normal cells, your blood can't do its job. You
may bleed or bruise easily, have more infections, and feel very tired.
Survival rates are different for each kind of leukemia. A 5-year
survival rate is the percentage of people who are still alive 5 years or more
after being diagnosed. These
numbers do not necessarily show what will happen in your case.
These numbers come from reports that were done at least 5 years ago, before newer treatments were available. So chances of survival today are likely to be higher than these numbers.
Leukemia can go away. People sometimes call this a "cure." But your doctor may use
the term "remission" instead of "cure" when talking about the effectiveness of
your treatment. Many people who have leukemia are successfully
treated, but the term remission is used because cancer can return (recur). It is
important to discuss the possibility of recurrence with your doctor.