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Leukemia (cont.)

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How often does leukemia recur?

The likelihood that leukemia will recur (come back after successful treatment) depends upon the type of leukemia including the specific molecular characteristics of the cancer cells and the patient's response to initial treatment. Some acute leukemias are successfully treated, and the patient never experiences a recurrence. In chronic leukemias, such as CML, ongoing symptoms and recurrences are common, and treatments may be directed at keeping the leukemia under control.

Is it possible to prevent leukemia?

Most people who develop leukemia do not have a known risk factor, and it is generally not possible to prevent leukemia. Certain risk factors, such as exposure to radiation or benzene, may be minimized, but this does not guarantee prevention of leukemia.

What support groups are available for people with leukemia?

Support groups for people with leukemia and their families offer a variety of resources.

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (
) offers information for patients and families, discussion boards, online chats, support groups, and 1:1 support from information specialists. They also offer family support groups.

Information specialists at 1-800-4-CANCER and at LiveHelp ( can help someone locate programs, services, and publications.

Throughout the U.S., hospitals and health systems offer support groups and resources for people living with leukemia. A doctor or other members of a patient's treatment team can provide information about support groups in the area. The National Cancer Institute has publications for patients on coping with leukemia and other cancers (

What research is being done on leukemia?

Leukemia is an active area of biomedical research. Ongoing studies are examining the risk factors and causes of leukemia, as well as examining new and improved treatment options.

Clinical trials are studies that examine new drugs or new combinations of drugs and existing treatments. Trials are under way to test new targeted therapy, biological therapy, and chemotherapy regimens. Patients should discuss their situation and care with their doctor if they are interested in being part of a clinical trial. The NCI's web site includes a section on clinical trials at


American Society of Clinical Oncology. <>.

Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. "Leukemia." <>.

Stieglitz, Elliot, and Mignon L. Loh. "Genetic predispositions to childhood leukemia." Ther Adv Hematol 4.4 Aug. 2013: 270-290.

United States. National Cancer Institute. "Leukemia." Sept. 2013. <>.

United States. National Cancer Institute. "SEER stat fact sheets: leukemia." <>.

United States. National Cancer Institute. "What you need to know about leukemia." 2013. <>.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/19/2017


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