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Leukemia is a rapidly progressing disease that results in the build up of cells in the blood that do not work. The marrow often can no longer produce enough normal red and white blood cells and platelets.

Anemia is a deficiency of red cells that causes a problem in getting oxygen to the cells, develops in almost all leukemia patients. The lack of normal white cells impairs the body's ability to fight infections. A shortage of platelets results in bruising and easy bleeding.

Leukemia is the most common cancer among children. The overall five-year survival rate for children with leukemia is 81%. The leukemia death rate for children in the United States has decreased by 61% over the last 30 years. Despite this decline, leukemia remains a leading cause of death among children under age 15. Approximately 672 deaths from childhood leukemia were expected in 2001.

Information taken from www.leukemia-lymphoma.org (exact site is l3.leukemia-lymphoma.org/all_page?item_id=9346)
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