Approximately 1.5% of adults will be diagnosed with leukemia at some point during their lives, according to the National Cancer Institute data.
Leukemia is cancer of the body's blood-forming tissues, including the bone marrow and the lymphatic system, and it usually involves the white blood cells. Your white blood cells are potent infection fighters. They normally grow and divide in an orderly way, as your body needs them.
But in people with leukemia, the bone marrow produces an excessive amount of abnormal white blood cells, which don't function properly. Some forms of leukemia are more common in children. Other forms of leukemia occur mostly in adults.
In this Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Dr. James Foran, chair of the Acute Leukemia and Myeloid Neoplasms Disease Group at Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, discusses the different types of leukemia, signs and symptoms, treatment strategies, future research, and Mayo Clinic efforts to address health care disparities for some patients battling leukemia.