Leukemia FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

What is leukemia?
Leukemia is a cancer of the blood, caused by a mutation in a cell of the bone marrow.

What is bone marrow?
Bone marrow is a spongy tissue inside larger bones that produces three types of blood cells; red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.

What do these blood cells do?
Red blood cells carry oxygen throughout the body, white blood cells fight infection and disease, and platelets help the blood clot.

How does leukemia affect bone marrow?
Leukemia is the result of a mutation in the bone marrow that causes it to produce too many or too few blood cells, which causes many illnesses.

Is leukemia fatal?
Despite medical advancements and modern treatment, leukemia is still one of deadliest cancers.

Who gets leukemia?
Leukemia can affect anyone at any age, but is more likely to strike the very young and people past 40.

What are the symptoms of leukemia?
Leukemia is very difficult to diagnose, mostly because its symptoms are easily confused with other, less dangerous conditions. Common signs of leukemia include:

  • Fever, chills or flu-like symptoms
  • Night sweats
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Loss of appetite and/or weight
  • Easy bleeding or bruising
  • Bone or joint pain
  • Paralysis
  • Tiny red spots under the skin
  • Swollen or bleeding gums
  • Swollen lymph glands
  • Seizures due to involvement of the brain (acute leukemias)

Unfortunately, leukemias can go undiagnosed since a fever, nausea, sleeplessness, and loss of appetite are easily attributable to a cold or the flu. Also, different types of leukemia cause different symptoms.

How is leukemia treated?
Leukemia is usually treated with drugs, radiation, and immunotherapy, which aims to increase the natural disease fighting powers of the body.

What should people do if diagnosed with a benzene-related disease?
Victims should follow all the directions of their physicians and seek crucial emotional support immediately. They should also contact a benzene lawyer to pursue legal action against the party responsible for their injuries.

Are there time constraints for filing a benzene suit?
Absolutely, individual states have laws called statues of limitations, which vary from state to state and limit how much time victims can initiate legal action. In benzene litigation, this window of opportunity usually begins immediately after a diagnosis and lasts only a few years.

If I win my lawsuit, what does the potential compensation award cover?
The compensation you could potentially receive can cover the mounting medical bills resulting from tests and treatment for your illness, the pain and emotional anguish experienced by you and your family, and financial security for your family if the illness ultimately takes your life.

How can I afford to pay a lawyer?
Most leukemia lawyers work on a contingency basis, which means they don't get paid unless you do. This ensures they will devote all their energy to winning your case and fighting for the financial compensation that you deserve.

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Leukemia Frequently Asked Questions and Leukemia FAQ page updated on 6/15/2006.