Why do nearly half of the patients in the U.S who are diagnosed with AML die?

By: Dr. Thomas Incledon

Why do nearly half of the patients in the U.S who are diagnosed with AML die?

According to American Cancer Society, there were 21,380 new cases of AML or acute myeloid leukemia diagnosed in the U.S. last year. And, 10,590 deaths were attributed to the disease. That means nearly half of the people who are diagnosed with AML each year, die.

One common reason is that the symptoms for AML can easily be attributed to something else, so people do not seek treatment from a doctor. “People think I need more sleep, or men think their testosterone is low,” says Dr. Tom Incledon, Founder and CEO of Causenta. “Other people may think they have a B12 deficiency and many women say, ‘My iron must be low’, but they don’t think it’s cancer.” Because of this, people don’t get diagnosed early on and it makes treatment more difficult.

Also, AML commonly affects older adults. There people are more frail or weak to begin with, meaning they have already lost some muscle mass and neurological function. So, when they begin treatment, often with harsh medications like chemotherapy drugs, they are starting with less health and physical resources that they need to fight the cancer, increasing the risk of death.

There are two main types of AML – one based in genetic mutation, the other in structural mutation. If you receive treatment for one type, but you have the other, you will not survive because they are two different diseases with the same name. In cases of children, the issue with long-term results is that basic treatment for AML is based on the genetic type of AML and most kinds develop AML because of structural mutations, not genetic ones.

For many patients, treatment does not address the issues that caused the disease in the first place, which can also lead to death. At Causenta, the treatment teams work address multiple concerns at the same time or in a practical order to give patients better results.

“This is a reminder that it is so important to know about your disease and ask the right questions,” says Incledon. “Educate yourself so know which strategies will work best for your disease for the best results.” Incledon recommends always asking two main questions when you are diagnosed with cancer:

  1. What are you going to do for me specifically? You want to ask this about your case, not the label of your disease. If the doctor already knows exactly what they are going to do, that means they don’t treat individuals, they treat types of cancer.  
  2. What will you do when that treatment doesn’t work? Incledon believes that if more people asked this question, people would have better results in fighting cancer. “You want to be with a team and a center that offers additional strategies to help with long-term health because ‘Plan A’ rarely works,” he says. “People are overwhelmed and scared so often go with their first option. The problem with this is that if you aren’t happy with results and move from one center to another, you leave valuable history and knowledge of your case behind and that can hurt in the long-run.”

Fighting cancer is a journey with a lot of ups and downs. “You need relationship with a team that you feel comfortable with to travel that path with you to win,” says Incledon. “That’s why I am so proud of the team at Causenta.” Our team of doctors and treatment providers are positive, fun, smart, and caring. Patients are looking better and feeling better, so it’s a nice place to come for good energy and hope.

For more information about AML (acute myeloid leukemia) and treatment options at Causenta, schedule your complimentary 30-minute consultation today.  

About the Author

At Causenta, we recognize that no two patients are alike. Our approach is unique in that we specialize treatment for each patient based on extensive testing. For over 17 years, our team of experienced and highly trained doctors have combined traditional medicine and alternative therapies to provide the highest quality care. Here you’ll find the latest technologies and a state-of-the-art facility combined with treatment protocols not found anywhere else in the world. Causenta is dedicated to strengthening both body and mind while focusing on personalized medicine to provide patients the right treatment for even the rarest conditions.

Whether you are fighting to win a gold metal in the Olympics or fighting for your life to beat cancer, Causenta is the right place for you.

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