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Medical Marijuana and Myeloid Leukemia

What Is Myeloid Leukemia?

Myeloid leukemia, specifically recognizing acute myeloid leukemia, is a cancer of te myeloid line of blood cells and is best characterized by the rapid growth of abnormal white blood cells that accumulate in the bone marrow of an individual. This process directly interferes with the production of normal blood cells in the body. Acute myeloid leukemia is the most common acute leukemia that affects adults and its rate of incidence increases as one becomes older. Although this condition is considered to be a relatively rare disease, it accounts for approximately 1.2% of cancer deaths in the United States. As the populations age increases, the incidence of this condition becoming diagnosed is going to skyrocket.

Medical Marijuana and Myeloid Leukemia

Many symptoms of acute myeloid leukemia are caused by the replacement of normal bone marrow with leukemic cells. This causes a great drop in red blood cells and normal white blood cells and can produce symptoms such as fatigue, shortness of breath, easy bruising and bleeding and increased risk of infection. There are several different risk factors and chromosomal abnormalities that have been identified, but the specific cause of this condition is not too clear. If left untreated, this condition tends to progress very rapidly and can become typically fatal within weeks or months.

While leukemia treatment is largely successful, some patients cannot be treated with conventional methods of therapy. Nearly twenty-five percent of children fail treatment and that leaves them with a very poor-prognosis outcome. In a study conducted involving marijuana and its effects on an individual who suffers from myeloid leukemia, the results showed that THC kills the bad cells and potentially promotes longer-term survival rates.

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