What is the actual cause death with Acute Leukemia ?

male 64 yo with acute luekemia (diagnosed 1 yr) is it mainly from infections or heart,liver,or lung failure or what ?

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  • 1 decade ago
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    I haved worked in cancer research for many years. When someone dies from leukemia it is usally from a combination of a superinfection (because your white cell counts are practically zero) and from clotting disorders (because you aren't making platelets either).

    Respiratory infections seem to be the primary route (especially pneumonias). Viral infections can also play a part.

    The actual cause of death is most likely what is called multi-system organ failure, because if you are sick enough to be in a hospital, you eventually go into liver or renal failure from the infection. Everything crashes together after that.

    There are many treatments out there for leukemia, and many studies underway. If you keep as healthy as you can (avoiding large crowds, handwashing, etc.) and continue with your injections of filgrastim and epo, then you do lower your chances of getting infected in the first place.

    Good luck.

    P.S. your life-span with this disease is entirely individual and depends greatly on how well you respond to treatment and whether or not you have a successful bone marrow transplant.

    Source(s): RN
  • 1 decade ago

    My dad died of acute leukemia, and I'm not really sure exactly what the cause of death was. After a few courses of chemotherapy, the chemo just didn't work anymore and the cancer went to his brain. He fell into a coma and he died 3 days later. But a 64 year old man is still relatively young and I'm sure your (?) prognosis is much better than my dad's was, plus this was 10 years ago and I think there are better treatment options now. One thing though - just make sure when you're having your chemo treatments that your visitors AND the nurses are scrupulous about hygiene - my dad almost died from an infection which we believe was caused by a nurse! I wish you the very best.

  • 1 decade ago

    Patient could be progressing well with chemotherapy but then die from an infection, (bacterial, viral or fungal) due to the lack of white cells to fight off infection..

    Other cause of death would be from the cancer itself, patient doesn't respond to treatment and can not gain remission. In leukaemia the patients blood would be over loaded with cancerous white cells and slow the production of platelets (this could cause bleeding to death) and low red cells that produce haemoglobin. Essential for carrying oxygen around the blood stream, multi system failure results.

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