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People who died from Leukemia

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If Leukemia was the primary cause of death, please add them to this project

Tags: Leukemia, cause of death, blood cancer, blood disease, abnormal white blood cells, acute lymphocytic leukemia, acute myeloid leukemia, chronic myeloid leukemia, chronic myelomonocytic leukemia, chronic lymphocytic leukemia,

Leukemia (American English) or leukaemia (British English) /luːˈkiːmiːə/ is a group of cancers of the blood or the body's blood-forming tissues, including the bone marrow and the lymphatic system. A person who has leukemia suffers from an abnormal production of blood cells, generally leukocytes (white blood cells -- WBCs). These white blood cells are not fully developed and are called blasts or leukemia cells.

Scientists don't understand the exact cause. It seems to develop from a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

  • In general, leukemia is thought to occur when some blood cells acquire mutations in their DNA.
  • Different kinds of leukemia are believed to have different causes. Both inherited and environmental (non-inherited) factors are believed to be involved. Risk factors include smoking, ionizing radiation, some chemicals (such as benzene), prior chemotherapy, and Down syndrome.
  • People with a family history of leukemia are also at higher risk.

Many types of leukemia exist. Some forms of leukemia are more common in children. Other forms of leukemia occur mostly in adults. Leukemias and lymphomas both belong to a broader group of tumors that affect the blood, bone marrow, and lymphoid system, known as tumors of the hematopoietic and lymphoid tissues.

Doctors classify leukemia based on its speed of progression and the type of cells involved.

  • The first type of classification is by how fast the leukemia progresses: Acute & Chronic
  • The second type of classification is by type of white blood cell affected: Lymphocytic & Myelogenous

The major types of leukemia are:

  • Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL). This is the most common type of leukemia in young children. ALL can also occur in adults.
  • Acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). AML is a common type of leukemia. It occurs in children and adults. AML is the most common type of acute leukemia in adults.
  • Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). With CLL, the most common chronic adult leukemia, you may feel well for years without needing treatment.
  • Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). This type of leukemia mainly affects adults. A person with CML may have few or no symptoms for months or years before entering a phase in which the leukemia cells grow more quickly.
  • Other types. Other, rarer types of leukemia exist, including hairy cell leukemia, myelodysplastic syndromes & myeloproliferative disorders

Treatment may involve some combination of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapy, and bone marrow transplant, in addition to supportive care and palliative care as needed. Certain types of leukemia may be managed with watchful waiting. The success of treatment depends on the type of leukemia and the age of the person. Outcomes have improved in the developed world. The average five-year survival rate is 57% in the United States. In children under 15, the five-year survival rate is greater than 60 to 85%, depending on the type of leukemia. In children with acute leukemia who are cancer-free after five years, the cancer is unlikely to return.


  1. NCI Surveillance, Epidemiology, & End Results Program)
  2. Leukemia & Lymphoma Society - Facts & Statistics - Leukemia
  • The number of new cases of leukemia was 13.7 per 100,000 men and women per year. The number of deaths was 6.8 per 100,000 men and women per year. These rates are age-adjusted and based on 2010-2014 cases and deaths.
  • Approximately 1.5 percent of men and women will be diagnosed with leukemia at some point during their lifetime, based on 2012-2014 data.
  • In 2014, there were an estimated 387,728 people living with leukemia in the United States.
  • Compared to other cancers, leukemia is fairly common. It is #9 in a list of Common types of Cancer.
  • In 2017, it is estimated that there will be 62,130 new cases of leukemia and an estimated 24,500 people will die of this disease (14,300 males and 10,200 females).
  • In 2010, globally, approximately 281,500 people died of leukemia. In 2000, approximately 256,000 children and adults around the world developed a form of leukemia, and 209,000 died from it. This represents about 3% of the almost seven million deaths due to cancer that year, and about 0.35% of all deaths from any cause. Of the sixteen separate sites compared, leukemia was the 12th most common class of neoplastic disease, and the 11th most common cause of cancer-related death. Leukemia occurs more commonly in the developed world.
  • In 2012, leukemia developed in 352,000 people globally and caused 265,000 deaths. It is the most common type of cancer in children, with three quarters of leukemia cases in children being ALL. However, about 90% of all leukemias are diagnosed in adults, with AML and CLL being most common in adults. It occurs more commonly in the developed world.
  • Leukaemia is the 8th most common cause of cancer death in Europe, with around 53,800 deaths from leukaemia in 2012 (3% of the total).
  • In Europe (2012), the highest World age-standardized mortality rates for leukaemia are in Belarus for men and Lithuania for women; the lowest rates are in Bosnia Herzegovina for men and Malta for women.
  • UK leukaemia mortality rates are estimated to be the 12th lowest in males in Europe, and 9th lowest in females. These data are broadly in line with Europe-specific data available elsewhere.
  • Leukaemia is the 10th most common cause of cancer death worldwide, with more than 265,000 deaths from leukaemia in 2012 (3% of the total).
  • Leukaemia mortality rates are highest in Western Asia and lowest in Western Africa, but this partly reflects varying data quality worldwide.
  • Surviving leukaemia for 10 or more years in 2010-11 in England and Wales was 46%.
  • The age that leukaemia survival is highest in 2009-2013 in England was 40-49 years.
  • Leukaemia survival in the UK has more than quadrupled in the last 40 years from 7-46%.
  • There were 4,584 deaths from leukaemia in 2014 in the UK.
  • The overall five-year relative survival rate for leukemia has more than quadrupled since 1960. From 1960 to 1963, the five-year relative survival rate among whites (only data available) with leukemia was 14 percent. From 1975 to 1977, the five-year relative survival rate for the total population with leukemia was 34.2 percent, and from 2006 to 2012, the overall relative survival rate was 62.7 percent.


  • Leukemia was first described by anatomist and surgeon Alfred-Armand-Louis-Marie Velpeau in 1827.
  • A more complete description was given by pathologist Rudolf Virchow in 1845. Observing an abnormally large number of white blood cells in a blood sample from a patient, Virchow called the condition Leukämie in German, which he formed from the two Greek words leukos (λευκός), meaning "white", and haima (αἷμα), meaning "blood".
  • Around ten years after Virchow's findings, pathologist Franz Ernst Christian Neumann found that one deceased leukemia patient's bone marrow was colored "dirty green-yellow" as opposed to the normal red. This finding allowed Neumann to conclude that a bone marrow problem was responsible for the abnormal blood of leukemia patients.
  • By 1900 leukemia was viewed as a family of diseases as opposed to a single disease.
  • By 1947 Boston pathologist Sidney Farber believed from past experiments that aminopterin, a folic acid mimic, could potentially cure leukemia in children. The majority of the children with ALL who were tested showed signs of improvement in, their bone marrow, but none of them were actually cured. This, however, led to further experiments.
  • In 1962, researchers Emil J. Freireich, Jr. and Emil Frei III used combination chemotherapy to attempt to cure leukemia. The tests were successful with some patients surviving long after the tests.

Famous People Who died of Leukemia:

  1. Ranker - Famous People Who Died of Leukemia (446 people listed)
  2. Wikipedia - Deaths from leukemia (702 people listed)
  3. Medpage Today - Celebrities with Leukemias & Lymphomas
  4. Healthgrades - Celebrities Who Have Battled Leukemia and Lymphoma]

For Further Reading:

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