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L.A. Laker Legend Kareem Abdul-Jabar Diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia

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 Los Angeles basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar,62, is being treated for a rare form of leukemia, it is a form of blood cancer known as chronic myelogenous leukemia.

The disease was discovered in Kareem last December, and his prognosis is good. He is receiving treatment and he is responding very well.

 CML,as it is known, occurs when too many white blood cells are made in the bone marrow. Bone marrow is then replaced by malignant, leukemia cells. When these cells circulate in the blood, they can cause enlargement of the liver, spleen or other organs. An indicator of CML is an extraordinarily high white blood cell count, which is what Abdul-Jabbar’s initial blood work revealed.

Abdul-Jabbar said his condition can be managed by taking oral medication daily, seeing his specialist every other month and getting his blood analyzed regularly. He said he expects to lead a healthy life.

He said he went in to his medical advisor after experiencing unusual hot flashes and regular night sweats that had never occurred before.

“The word ‘leukemia’ is a very frightening word,” he stated after hearing the prognosis for the first time.

“In many instances, it’s a killer and it’s something that you have to deal with in a very serious and determined way if you’re going to beat it.”

Medical studies have shown that many patients with chronic myeloid leukemia who are treated can control the disease without its progressing to a move advanced stage.

Abdul-Jabbar, who has become a spokesman for the company that makes the drugs that are treating his leukemia, also urged people to “see a doctor regularly, go for regular checkups… get regular blood work done.

“I think someone in my position who gets public attention can do a lot of good because a lot of people are faced with this condition and they think it’s a death sentence,” he told the AP.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (born Ferdinand Lewis ‘Lew’ Alcindor on April 16, 1947),had a 20-year professional career in the NBA, from 1969 to 1989, he scored the highest points total of any player in league history (38,387), in addition to winning a record six Most Valuable Player Awards and six NBA championships.In his NBA career, he played for the Milwaukee Bucks for six seasons and then with the Los Angeles Lakers for fourteen seasons…Quoted from Wikipedia

About 5,000 cases of chronic myeloid leukemia are expected to be diagnosed in the United States this year.

Lets hope that Kareem can beat this disease with a sky-hook like he beat the competition in the NBA.

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6 Responses to “L.A. Laker Legend Kareem Abdul-Jabar Diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia”

  1. My prayers go out to Mr. Abdul Jabar and his family. I too was diagnosed with CML after getting blood work required to begin the process for weight loss surgery. I agree, leukemia is a very scary word but like him, I am determined to fight. We are fortunate to catch it in this highly treatable stage. I now understand the importance of regular checkups. Because my insurance does not require me to have a primary care physician I only see specialists for specific issues. But for the weight loss surgery requirement, it might have been years before I had blood work done. By then it might have been too late. Now there’s hope for me and Kareem as well. Stay strong.

  2. Do you know the name of the company who is supplying the treatment. Oral cancer treatments are fairly rare and it sounds as if this one has a good prognosis.

    Wishing Kareem well

  3. Kareem,

    Thank you for sharing your diagnosis. After reading your symptoms, elevated white blood cells, night sweats, hot flashes, I’m concerned with my last blood test results. The doctor found a high white cell count and didn’t know why. I also have experienced hot flashes and sweating for no apparent reason. Again thanks.

    Rich Czajkowski

  4. My husband and I have been admirers for years. Mr. Abdul-Jabar, my husband has CML for the last 10 years and has recently received an allogeneic stem cell transplant. My prayers go out to you and your family. God bless you.

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