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Alert Number 38

AIHA: Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia

Date: August 15, 2004.

Autoimmune hemolytic anemia is something that all of us need to learn about. Roughly 30% of CLL patients are at risk of getting this serious and potentially life threatening complication. As in all things having to do with CLL, our understanding of what causes AIHA is changing rapidly, and with the increasing knowledge we also have more therapy options available to us for controlling it. Used to be that AIHA signaled late stage and intractable disease. Not so any more. Smart therapy choices are becoming possible, but you need to be aware of your options in the first place. Too many local oncologists are quick to recommend the "tried-and-true", as opposed to the more new fangled stuff. That may be just fine with you, but I think at the very least you owe it to yourself to be aware of the possibilities.

AIHA and its more dangerous cousin ITP are harder to handle when they get well entrenched. Understanding what initiates autoimmune diseases, what makes them grow into life consuming monsters, how best to keep that from happening, these are some of the items we discuss in our latest article on this website: AHIA: Auto Immune Hemolytic Anemia. The article is long, and not the easiest to read. I have tried to make the jargon go away as much as possible, but I am very aware that you have to do your bit to stick with it, make the effort to read through it. The life you save by learning about CLL will be your own.

Gradually, CLL Topics is changing into an educational website. I would like to hear from you, does this format work for you? And if it does, please remember this website is a common project for our patient community, PC and I do our bit, you can participate by helping yourself, and by helping other patients who may be newly diagnosed. Your participation in this community effort is the driving force that keeps me going.

Be well,


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