Cigarette smoking linked to leukemia

Cigarette smoking has been linked to acute myelogenous leukemia, according to The Health Consequences of Smoking: A Report of the Surgeon General, released today.

This important finding allows us, for the first time, to look at this form of leukemia not only from a treatment point-of-view, but from a prevention point-of-view. "Acute myelogenous leukemia is an aggressive form of cancer with an arduous and hazardous treatment regimen and a low survival rate in adults," said Marshall Lichtman, M.D.,

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Executive Vice President, Research & Medical Programs. "This announcement gives the public another compelling reason not to smoke." During 1995 to 2000, the overall relative survival rate for acute myelogenous leukemia was 19.5 percent. It is anticipated that approximately 23,300 deaths in the United States will be attributed to leukemia in 2004: 8,870 from acute myelogenous leukemia.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Information Resource Center, staffed with master's level oncology nurses, social workers and health educators, is available at its toll-free number, (800) 955-4572, to answer questions and provide information and resources to the public about acute myelogenous leukemia and other hematologic malignancies, including other types of leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma.

Leukemia, first recognised by the German pathologist Rudolf Virchow in 1847, starts with tissues such as bone marrow behaving abnormally. This is caused by a mutation in its DNA. Bone marrow stem cells produce billions of red blood cells and white blood cells each day, respectively carrying oxygen and fighting disease around all parts of the body. Leukemia is characterised by an excessive production of abnormal versions of these cells, overcrowding the bone marrow. This results in decreased production and function of normal blood cells. Leukemia can spread to the lymph nodes, spleen, liver, central nervous system and other organs.

Portions of this article licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "leukemia".


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