About Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
- ALL is a very aggressive disease that can grow quickly.
- Treatments to fight it often need to be very aggressive as well.
- Leukemia may reside in bone marrow before traveling to the blood, tissue or lining of the brain.
“ALL is a type of cancer that is very aggressive,” Dr. Oluwole told SurvivorNet. “It grows very fast. Within a few weeks, a few months, the person will start to feel very sick. And that’s why we will have to give it an equally aggressive type of treatment to break that cycle.”Read More
He says many times the leukemia is rested in the bone marrow, and because it is an abnormal growth, it just keeps dividing.
“It doesn’t follow rules, and it doesn’t stop,” he told SurvivorNet. “Not only that, because this is part of the immune system, the immune system is sorta like the police of the body. So those abnormal cells that have now become cancer, they have the ability to go to many places. They go into the blood, and they often go into the tissue or the lining around the brain.”
“By the time somebody comes to us and they have ALL we already assume that it has gone everywhere in the body, and we have to treat them like that,” Dr. Oluwole says.
He says many patients present with fever or infections because the bone marrow has “failed in its ability to make other types of blood cells.”