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Sunday, September 3, 2017

This Type of Cancer is a Growing Concern in the Black Community

Black teen with leukemia

There are all different types of cancer. Leukemia is one type that involves the production of abnormal white blood cells in bone marrow. There are four different types of the more common forms of leukemia, but one type is increasing concern in the black community.
A study done in 2013 showed that African Americans with this type of cancer did not live as long as other patients with the disease, in spite of receiving the same treatment. It's called Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML), also known as chronic myelogenous leukemia). It primarily affects adults, and occurs in about 6,000 people in the U.S. every year. Although it represents 10-15 percent of all the different types of leukemia, it has become a growing concern for African Americans.

What researchers know

What researchers know about the cancer is that this type of leukemia typically grows slowly, but it can quickly accelerate and spread to just about any part of the body. They also found a link between CML and an abnormal chromosome known as the Philadelphia chromosome (Ph chromosome). Further, they know that the disease is usually diagnosed in its chronic phase (early stage) when treatment is very effective for most patients.

What researchers don't know

What researchers don't know is why people develop the disease. They also do not know why this form of leukemia is becoming more prevalent in the black community, or why blacks with CML may not live as long as other patients with the disease. Because of the disparity with which this cancer affects African Americans, it is definitely a cancer they need to know more about.

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