Oversimplification of leukemia


I was scanning thru some cool hematology lectures, and I saw this cool basic principle for leukemia. Many of you probably have known this already, but the not-so-bright me just discovered this today.

As we all know, the four big leukemias are ALL, AML, CLL and CML. Let’s say you’re working in hematology clinic on leukemia day when all leukemic patients come for check up, guess how do you initially diagnose the type of leukemia in patients? The AGE of the patient.

  • 0-14 years old – Acute LymphocyticBLASTIC Leukemia (ALL – seen in pediatric hospitals, most responsive to therapy)
  • 15-39 years old – Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML – Auer rods)
  • 40-60 years old – Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML – Philadelphia chromosome t[9:22] and very low leukocyte alkaline phosphatase LAP score)
  • 60 years and older – Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL – nontender lymphadenopathy, hepatosplenomegaly, 50% die of infection related to hypogammaglobulinemia)

Of course there are few exceptions to everything, but overall, it’s about the AGE.

Wait a sec, why am I talking about hematology when my current rotation is dermatology? Because dermatology is depressing!!!! I’d rather fry my brain in ОЛЕЙНА cooking oil than in dermatology…

Ngengengenge kidding! Dermatology is cool! I just can’t get enough out of it! In fact it’s the most challenging and high-yield subject in medicine that I really have to keep up with if I want to be a dermatologist.  Some people get high with drugs; I get high with dermatology… ngengengenge😉

4 thoughts on “Oversimplification of leukemia

  1. ALL? is it Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia or acute lymphoBLASTIC leukemia?

    as i know leukemia are classified based on stages of WBC maturation and not based on clinical symptoms n duration (like other diseases).therefore,terms “cytic” refer to chronic.while “blastic” used for acute one.

    correct me if i’m wrong ~~~~~~~~~~

  2. I guess you’re right. Thanks for the feedback.

    But anyways, this is what Dr. Goljan said in his lectures … But I guess it’s oversimplified🙂

  3. didn’t know this…!~ thx for the info..have a question tho. what’s the treatment for an elderly person with AML? my grandma died of it but acc to my mom (i was too young to remember anything) the docs said there was nothing they could do.

  4. AML treatment:

    1. Best treatment is bone marrow transplant.

    2. To induce remission; daunorubicin + cytarabine (both interfere with DNA replication). High doses of vitamin A may also induce remission.

    3. Prognosis: Long term survival is 10-15%, majority of patients will die of gram negative sepsis and/or hemorrhage.

    May grandma rest in peace.

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