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View new visitor guidelines, effective August 31.

bryan cancer support group

Cancer Support Group

Meets the first Thursday of every month

6:30-7:30 p.m.
Bryan Medical Center, Bryan West Campus or Virtual 
2300 S. 16th St.
Conference Center C

For more information and Zoom information, call 402-481-0457.

 

Acute Leukemia

Leukemia is a type of cancer found in your blood or bone marrow. Most often, leukemia is found in white blood cells, but sometimes can start in other types of blood cells.

Types of Leukemia We Treat

  • Acute leukemia (grows fast)
  • Chronic leukemia (grows slowly)
  • Myeloid cell leukemia (AML) also known as myelogenous leukemia and is most common in older adults
  • Lymphoid cell leukemia (ALL) also known as lymphocytic or lymphoblastic leukemia and is more common in children

Risk Factors

  • Age: Can occur at any age, but becomes more common as people get older.
  • Gender:
    AML: More common in men.
    ALL: Slightly more common in men.
  • Smoking
  • Family history:
    AML: Close relative (parent, brother or sister) with AML, identical twin who develops AML in the first year of life.
    ALL: An identical twin who develops ALL in the first year of life.
  • Long-term exposure to benzene: Benzene is used in many industries to make other products, and is also in cigarette smoke, as well as some glues, cleaning products, detergents, art supplies and paint stripper or remover.
  • High-dose radiation exposure: Such as being a survivor of an atomic bomb blast or nuclear reactor accident.
  • Certain genetic syndromes: Down syndrome, Fanconi anemia, Bloom syndrome, Li-Fraumeni syndrome or neurofibromatosis.
  • AML Only Specific chemotherapy drugs: Patients with cancer who are treated with alkylating agents and topoisomerase II inhibitors are more likely to develop AML in the years following treatment.

Diagnosis

  • Complete blood count (CBC) measures the amounts of different cells in the blood, such as the red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets.

  • Peripheral smear identifies changes in the numbers and the appearance of different types of blood cells.

  • Bone marrow biopsy: Leukemia starts in the bone marrow, so checking the bone marrow for leukemia cells is a key part of testing for it.
  • Chromosome tests: Leukemia cells sometimes have chromosome changes that can be seen under a microscope or found with other tests. Recognizing these changes can help identify certain types of AML or ALL and can be important in determining a patient’s care and treatment plan.
  • ALL Only Lumbar puncture (spinal tap): to obtain sample of the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord to test for cancer cells.

Treatment and Therapies

  • Chemotherapy
  • Targeted therapy
  • Stem cell transplants allows doctors to use higher doses of chemotherapy (sometimes along with radiation) to kill the cancer cells. After these treatments are finished, the patient gets an infusion (transplant) of blood-forming stem cells to restore their bone marrow.
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