Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, one of the greatest basketball players of all time,known for his unblockable signature "sky hook" shot, has announced that hewas diagnosed late last year with a rare type of blood cancer known asPhiladelphia chromosome-positive chronic myeloid leukemia (Ph+ CML). Kareem'scancer was diagnosed in November 2008 when a blood level test revealed anabnormally high white blood cell count, which is an initial indicator of thedisease.
Ph+CML is a cancer that affects the blood and bone marrow; approximately5,000 new cases are expected to be diagnosed this year. Until a few yearsago, a diagnosis of Ph+CML could mean a patient had only a few years ormonths left to live. Because of new treatments, it is now considered aserious, but manageable cancer for many.
Kareem is being treated with a medicine that specifically targets theabnormal protein, known as Bcr-Abl, which causes this leukemia. Today, Kareemcontinues to live a very full life and is feeling good about the future. Now,he is partnering with Novartis Oncology and has a message for fellow patientswith Ph+CML- work closely with your doctors and take all the necessary stepsto actively manage your disease for the best possible outcomes.
For more information, Kareem is encouraging fellow patients with Ph+CMLand their loved ones to visit www.CMLAlliance.com and www.CMLEarth.com. CMLAlliance offers helpful disease education, information about how treatmentswork to fight this cancer, the testing that is done to monitor treatmentresponse, and information on reimbursement support. CML Earth is a uniqueinteractive social networking website that allows Ph+CML patients to connectwith one another across the globe.
NEWS: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Breaks Silence on Being Diagnosed with RareBlood Cancer
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