Leukemia is a deadly form of cancer which strikes blood cells in the body. It can strike any of the three types of cells in the body including the lymphoblasts, which are white blood cells that fight infections in the body, platelets which clot the blood and red blood cells which are used to carry oxygen from the lungs throughout the body. Leukemia tends to begin in one’s bone marrow, as immature blood cells are more susceptible to cancer, and bone marrow is where most blood cells initially form.
Leukemia is more common than one might think. According to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, it was expected that over 170 thousand Americans would be diagnosed with either leukemia, lymphoma, which is the most common form and occurs when the cancer attacks the white blood cells, or lymphoblasts, and myeloma in 2016 alone. Amounts to one diagnosis every 3 minutes in the United States.
Although the survival rate since 2005 for all forms of leukemia are at or well above 50 percent, the disease is still deadly to many. In fact, an American will die every 9 minutes from a form of blood cancer, which amounts to about 160 people a day and nearly 60 thousand people each year. Among other cancers, leukemia accounts for nearly 10 percent of all cancer deaths in the United States.
Leukemia and other cancers are all considered as qualifying conditions for Social Security Disability Insurance, meaning Americans may qualify to receive benefits for these illnesses. One must first prove that the illness is preventing them from maintaining gainful employment and that the condition is expected to last at least a year or end in death. The program is not easy to get into, so it may be in your best interest to seek professional advice before applying yourself.
Source: National Cancer Institute, “Leukemia -Patient Version,” accessed Jan. 31, 2017