The Truth About Older Adults With Leukemia
If you’re an older adult and your doctor tells you that you have leukemia, you may think the only thing you can do is to get your affairs in order. However, what many people don’t realize is that we can treat every person diagnosed with acute leukemia, no matter their age and medical condition.
Older adult leukemia
Leukemia is often considered a childhood illness. Even though it is one of the most common childhood cancers, the blood disorder cancer actually affects far more adults.
According to the National Cancer Institute, leukemia is most frequently diagnosed among people between the ages of 65 and 74 years. The median age at diagnosis is 66. Treatment options include chemotherapy and blood transfusions, and are viable for patients of all ages.
We often joke, though it is no joking matter, that leukemia needs a better press agent. The older patient is often pleasantly surprised to hear what we have to say about options for treating them. The oldest patient I treated was 99.