Kenyans have been shocked by the rising number of death from the dreadful cancer plague. This follows the untimely demise of Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore who succumbed to Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML) Monday morning.
according to a haematologist, AML a type of cancer that starts in the blood-forming cells of the bone marrow and is curable.
It can sometimes spread to other parts of the body including the lymph nodes, liver, spleen, central nervous system (brain and spinal cord), and testicles.
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) starts in the bone marrow (the soft inner part of certain bones, where new blood cells are made), but most often it quickly moves into the blood, as well. It can sometimes spread to other parts of the body. pic.twitter.com/IZ8TqlgWFZ
— PLK Lancet Kenya (@LancetKenya_PLK) July 1, 2019
This form of cancer can cause many different signs and symptoms. These symptoms are general and can lead to a misdiagnosis as was the case for Bob Collymore.
The CEO was misdiagnosed with Vitamin D deficiency instead of cancer during the early stages of the ailment.
He started receiving treatment for AML in the U.K from October 2017 to July 2018.
According to reports from local media, Collymore had stated that he felt sick in 2017 October but doctors could not figure what he was ailing from.
“I use to get tired and have high temperatures from time to time. It got so bad that I could not make it to company events,” he said. He further noted that the high temperatures would sometimes last for 24 hours.” Collymore said.
Collymore reportedly experienced flu-like symptoms, shaking body and severe pain in the shin – the bones at the front of the leg below the knee.
Most often, AML develops from cells that would turn into white blood cells, but sometimes AML develops in other types of blood-forming cells.
Some known risk factors for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) are:
• Getting older
• Being male
• Being exposed to certain chemicals
• Being treated with certain chemotherapy drugs
• Being exposed to radiation
• Having certain blood disorders
• Having a genetic syndrome
• Having a family history
Anatomy of the bone, Source: www.cancer.gov
People with AML often have several non-specific (general) symptoms. These can include:
• Weight loss
• Night sweats
• Loss of appetite
Symptoms caused by leukemia spread:
– Spread to the skin
If leukemia cells spread to the skin, they can cause lumps or spots that may look like common rashes.
– Spread to the gums
Certain types of AML may spread to the gums, causing swelling, pain, and bleeding.
– Spread to other organs
Less often, leukemia cells can spread to other organs. Spread to the brain and spinal cord can cause symptoms such as:
• Trouble with balance
• Facial numbness
• Blurred vision
– Enlarged lymph nodes
Immature white blood cells spill out of marrow into bloodstream & lymph system, & can also travel 2 brain & spinal cord. #Leukemia #AfriCF
— Africa Cancer Fdn (@AfriCF) June 5, 2011
Although many of the symptoms and signs above may be caused by AML, they can also be caused by other conditions.
If you have signs or symptoms of acute myelogenous leukaemia, your doctor may recommend that you undergo diagnostic tests, including:
• Blood tests
• Bone marrow test
• Lumbar puncture (spinal tap)
• Genomic testing