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Why Did ALL Happen?

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Published on March 13, 2020

Key Takeaways

Oftentimes, after receiving an acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) diagnosis, patients and families wonder, “What brought this on?” Tune in to hear expert Dr. Ryan Cassaday share his views on developing ALL and, as a disease primarily diagnosed in children, why it can be difficult to find the cause. 

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Transcript | Why Did ALL Happen?

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.

Andrew Schorr:

Hello, I'm Andrew Schorr from Patient Power, and we are talking about acute lymphoblastic leukemia, ALL. Certainly a very serious acute urgent diagnosis and a leading specialist in it is Dr. Ryan Cassaday who joins us from the University of Washington and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. Dr. Cassaday, thanks for being with us.

Dr. Cassaday:

Thank you, Andrew. It's a pleasure.

Andrew Schorr:

A parent would ask or a family member or the patient themselves, "What brought this on? Did I do something to deserve this in a way?"

Dr. Cassaday:

Yeah, I get that question a lot, and the reality is we don't know in a vast majority of cases why any individual got ALL. What I often tell people is because, and again as a treater of mostly of adults, I will refer them to the fact that ALL is a disease primarily of children. And we typically don't think of children as having poor lifestyle choices causing their health issues. So this is not we think something that if you only didn't smoke cigarettes or if you only exercised more or something, this wouldn't have happened. The reality is again, the vast majority of cases we don't know why, thus it's really hard to assign any sort of blame or responsibility.

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.  

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