General Question

minniemau5's avatar

What would the general prognosis be for a patient with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia without treatment?

Asked by minniemau5 (432points) March 5th, 2011

Considering I’m 18 years old and in remission from another cancer. I am also very underweight with a BMI of around 16 and I have generally pretty crappy health. I just want to know what the general prognosis would be, I know the cancer will kill me eventually if I’m not treated for it, but how long will that take? I really do NOT want to go through chemotherapy as it was brutal on me last time. I’m trying to weigh out my options I guess.

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19 Answers

BarnacleBill's avatar

It sounds like a bone marrow or stem cell transplantation is the treatment for CML.

@minniemau5, I sorry you’re going through this.

Meego's avatar

This is a hard question. I’m sorry you have to go through this and at such a young age, considering your age, I think you should fight to live. I’m sorry it’s so challenging. You should have a look at the dr oz website a few days ago he had a show all about cancer, you can view that on his webite he also has alot of great tips and info on things to eat and way to stay healthy.
I will pray for you.

ETpro's avatar

I second @Meego‘s sentiments. I wish you the very best as you fight all this.

With all those complicating factors, unless we have a top oncologists as a Fluther member—and to the best of my knowledge we do not—I don’t think you are likely to get accurate answers here. Before making such a decision, you should ceratinly at least find out what your treatment options are, and what you might expect with or without such treatment.

gondwanalon's avatar

FYI: My Dad died of chronic leukemia at the age of 32 back in 1955 before they had chemotherapy or much of any kind of therapy. I don’t know what kind of leukemia he had but he suffered with it most of his short life. You have more options than my Dad had and at least that is a plus for you.

Rarebear's avatar

@ETpro is right. You’re not going to get your answers here. Go to your oncologist and talk to him or her. But I will say this, living is better than dying.

leopardgecko123's avatar

I don’t really know much about that, but I will pray for you.

wilma's avatar

I’m sorry you have this in your life @minniemau5 .
Keep trying, keep fighting. See your Dr.
We are here for you my dear.

CaptainHarley's avatar

I’m facing the same sort of decision, except that I am 50 years older. It’s the sort of decision to which others can contribute their input, but in the final analysis you’re still the one to have to make the decision. I hate it for you that you’re having to make a life-or-death decision like this at such a young age. If I could make it for you, I would.

What you are doing is trading quality of life for span of life, and that’s never easy. It sounds to me as if you are simply getting tired of “treatments” that seem to leave you worse off than they found you. I don’t blame you. Not one bit.

I wish I had some profound utterance for you, but I don’t. Perhaps because this issue is so very like my own. If you need to talk to someone who understands, gimmie a shout. Telephone is ok too. [ HUGGGGGGS ]

Meego's avatar

@CaptainHarley that is a great answer, it’s awesome you are extending yourself. :) I am really sorry that both of you have to make such decisions my father only gave chemotherapy 2 chances and told us if it did not work he was not doing it again…it didn’t work anyway. I often wonder if he never got diagnosed how long would he have lasted, longer, or shorter than the just less than year he did. Cancer and illness is devastating, no matter how you look at it.

CaptainHarley's avatar


My oncologist told me that I had about five years to live. I have now lived six years, and seem to be doing quite well. But the cancer has apparently mutated and is no longer responding to hormone therapy, so we need to consider something else.

cak's avatar

@CaptainHarley Hugs to you. I hope you are doing well!

I have a chronic form, too – mine is different. I had mine long enough; not diagnosed, that it is, I had other forms that were opportunistic that formed along with the chronic form.

I would seek a second opinion, on how when and what kind of treatment to have, if needed. Also, believe it or not, your attitude about your health and general outlook, help. I guess one thing, I never fully gave in the idea of death by cancer a full thought. Sure, it crossed my mind. I’m married with kids, of course it did; however, I’d think about it for a little while, then let it go.

Be an 18 yr old, right now. Start living life, don’t worry about the time line. It’s important to understand those things, just not as easy to do.

Meego's avatar

@CaptainHarley I always wonder, because I sometimes believe the treatment they gives flares it up of sorts, but I have also become a firm believer that when it’s our time to go there is no way to stop it, and that we are needed for bigger purposes beyond more so than we want to believe or accept even if we feel we are not finished here.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@cak Worry not! I shall indeed seek out second and third opinions, as I have at various stages so far. : ))

CaptainHarley's avatar


Thank you! I tend to agree. : ))

Meego's avatar

@CaptainHarley NP! :) I’m just glad you agreed not everyone does, it could of gone bad lol

CaptainHarley's avatar

Simple answer to the reasons for my approach? My momma didn’ raise no dummies! : D

Meego's avatar

Thank you momma!

CaptainHarley's avatar


“Word to yo MOMMA!” : ))

CaptainHarley's avatar


I tend to agree with you on that. Fortunately I have a good attitude about this sort of thing, having seen enough of death to love life all the more. I never really stopped “living life.” What else can you say about a 68 year old man with cancer and diabetes who rides from Texas to North Carolina on a motorcycle ( 1,200 miles one-way ) twice a year to visit his children and grandchildren? : ))

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