Anonymous asked in HealthDiseases & ConditionsCancer · 1 decade ago

Questions about Childhood Leukemia?

I have quite a few questions over leukemia, if you could help that would be great:

Is it possible to have acute leukemia as a child, and be cured from it, then later in life develop chronic leukemia?

In a nutshell (explain in plain english so those who do not have a science degree can understand) what is ALL and AML?

(commonly) How long can ALL and AML go untreated before it becomes too fatal?

Can you be born with Leukemia?

If so how?

In a nutshell what is CLL and CML and is a child likely to develop that?


2 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Unfortunately yes, it is possible to have acute leukemia as a child and develop chronic leukemia later in life. The two may not necessarily be related but it is possible. With leukemia, well, most cancers in general, patients aren't "cured" but go into remission meaning there is no cancer visible. Then a No Evidence of Disease (NED) status is given when, as the name suggests, there is no evidence of cancer left in the body. At 5 years of holding NED status, one is considered "cured" although the cancer still can come back, it's just more likely to relapse in the first 5 years off treatment.

    Some are chronic leukemias that may go on for up to years before diagnosis, and others are acute leukemias that must be diagnosed immediately and treated within the first 48 hours. The most common chronic leukemia are CLL and less common CML. Both chronic leukemias are most common in older adults and rare in children, although there is a teenager that answers a lot of questions here with CML. Children, more often, are diagnosed with an acute leukemia - most commonly ALL. AML is more rare than ALL and also found mostly in people over the age of 50.

    My 2 1/2 year old son E was diagnosed with a Wilms' Tumour as a newborn, won his battle, and was recently diagnosed with Secondary Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML). AML is related to ALL but is still quite different. His cancer is most likely a secondary cancer caused by the chemotherapy his first time when he fought Wilms. E somehow passed his screenings he has every 3 months back in October but in the end of November we started to notice he wasn't quite himself, and he was diagnosed December 19th.

    There are lots of symptoms of leukemia but each individual is different. Some display some symptoms while others display other ones. There's no actual tumour as in other cancers but leukemia is a cancer of the cells that create blood cells. E had a cold in November that he just couldn't kick. We took him to the doctor and he was given an antibiotic. He got a little better but as soon as he finished the antibiotic he got sick again. He usually has a couple bruises here and there since he is a 2 year old. His walking was greatly affected from one of the drugs in his first chemo cocktail so he trips and falls pretty often. But the bruising he had was more than usual - he bruised at the slightest bump. That's when we really knew something was wrong and took him to the doctor again. Once he was diagnosed we found out that his spleen and liver were enlarged - also symptoms of leukemia. Due to the extent of enlargement of his spleen, he had it removed after a round of chemotherapy. So far he has had 3 strong doses of induction chemo and 3 consolidation rounds, and he's labeled as being in remission! He still has 3-5 rounds of consolidation chemo left just to make sure all of the cancerous cells are gone. He will also have a bone marrow transplant when a donor becomes available.

    He had some joint pain at the time of diagnosis. I have to say I didn't really think too much of the joint pain because he doesn't walk well due to one of the previous chemotherapy drugs he had - Vincristine. Because of Vincristine his leg muscles are weaker and he walks with "slapfoot" or "dropfoot" and he trips and falls fairly often. I figured his joint pain was because of falling but since his diagnosis I now see that it was probably because of the leukemia. On treatment he has had a significant amount of bone and joint pain, especially early on. When it's clear that he is in pain, he does get pain meds to help. I think the painkillers do help him but I think even then he does have some pain but duller than without painkillers.

    In a watered down version, leukemia is the bone marrow either not producing any or all of red blood cells, white blood cells, and/or platelets, or, overproducing faulty blood cells that cannot function. Acute leukemias occur MUCH quicker than chronic leukemias. Without treatment for acute leukemias, within only a few weeks it can be fatal. I have heard of children born with leukemia, but it's quite rare.

    I think I'm running out of room to write so I hope this helped you out. If you have any more questions feel free to email me ( or IM me (crazycanuckj).

    Source(s): My 2 year old son is a warrior who beat a Wilms' Tumour and is currently battling Secondary Acute Myelogenous Leukemia.
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Yeah, it is, but they wouldn't necesarily be related cases.

    ALL is an acute leukemia that effects the white blood cells, and causes them to rapidly and uncontrolably, divide. AML is the same thing, but it effects the other kind of white blood cell. ALL effects lymphocytes and AML effects monocytes.

    You can be born with leukemia, it happens the same way you could get it as a child or adult, it's just an abnormal division of cells. Could happen if the mother was exposed to radiation, or somethng else that could cause changes in the DNA effecting the white blood cells, and hence, the baby is born with the disease.

    CLL AND CML are like ALL AND AML, effecting the same white blood cells, but in a chronic (slower, and more prolonged way) Also, chronic leukemias are more common in adults, while acute (esp. ALL) is most common in children.

    any other info you need you could go to this website:

    Source(s): 15 yr old leukemia patient.
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