Stars That Battled Back Against Leukemia

Stars That Battled Back Against Leukemia

Many of today’s celebrities face battles with leukemia, a form of cancer that affects the blood system, particularly the body’s tissues, lymphatic system and marrow. It develops when something goes wrong with a cell’s growth and replication, causing cells to multiply too much. This overgrowth develops within the blood cells preventing healthy red blood cells from doing their job.

The illness can sideline many people, turning them from their careers to focus on their health. While often associated with children, adults of all ages can find themselves diagnosed. Stars are no different. Learn more about the disease and the stars that fought back against the condition. 

What Are Early Signs of the Illness?

Leukemia has several symptoms, many of them fairly subtle. Mayo Clinic reports that many people notice increased bruising or developing tiny red spots on skin. In addition, someone may experience numerous infections, bone pain or frequent nosebleeds. Doctors may check for swollen lymph nodes, unexplained weight loss and recurrent fevers.

What Is the Doctor Likely To Discuss?

Leukemia is a broad term. There are several different forms and types. It’s divided primarily into two categories: chronic and acute. Doctors are likely to start by determining which form is found. Chronic is a slower developing group of cells, while acute shows rapid spread. 

Specialists must understand how much the cells have grown and where they’re located to create a treatment plan appropriately. Patients start by answering questions about their health and undergoing an exam, noting which symptoms appear.

Medical teams then test blood and marrow to evaluate red and white blood cell numbers. Doctors can fight off the disease in several ways, including immunotherapy, radiation, chemotherapy, transplants and drug treatment.

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According to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, one person is diagnosed with leukemia roughly every 3 seconds, with over 186,00 people fighting the illness in 2021. The group looks at survival rates every five years, reporting that numbers are improving, with 72.1% of patients beating the disease between 2010 and 2016. 

Stars That Underwent Treatment

Basketball legend Kareen Abdul-Jabbar learned of his diagnosis at the age of 62. Doctors found chronic myeloid leukemia after he reported having unexplained sweat sessions. This particular form affects the prostate and is slow-growing. He sought medical care and continues to do well. He now focuses on working within the community to bolster health awareness. 

The hit show Dexter aired on Showtime from 2006 to 2013, with Michael C. Hall starring as the unusual serial killer. During the fourth season, Hall was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma. He underwent treatment during the show’s off time and has been in remission for at least a decade. The actor has worked with the Leukemia and Lymphoma society.

Evan Handler played the role of Harry Goldenblatt in “Sex in the City.” At 23, he found himself battling an intense form of cancer, with doctors giving him six months. He underwent various treatments, including a bone marrow transplant and chemotherapy. Both were successful. Handler is 61 now and going strong.

Can You Reduce Your Odds of Cancer?

Unfortunately, medical studies don’t point to any clear signs of preventing cancer. Instead, professionals encourage people to remain aware of how they feel, report any changes and understand whether they’re at increased risk for the disease. They promote healthy eating, regular exercise and avoiding tobacco products and pesticides.

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Don’t skip your annual visits and blood tests. Sometimes things appear in the workups, encouraging physicians to complete additional exams.

Who is more likely to find themselves ill? Some cancers do appear in the genetic line. Leukemia is one of them. If you have a close family member who suffered, remain vigilant about your health and keep up with your annual exams. Report any changes to the doctors. In addition, regular chemical exposure and tobacco use could increase your chances.

Finally, anyone who has faced cancer once has a higher chance of fighting it again. If you’ve had radiation or chemotherapy sessions, don’t skip your checkups. 

Even the stars have stared cancer down, many rebounding to find success. Leukemia affects people of all ages and walks of life. It’s essential to understand the early signs, diagnose the illness quickly and seek medical help. It’s not an easy battle, but it is one that many people and celebrities have survived.

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