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is defined as a collection of cancers that usually begin in the bone marrow and result in high numbers of abnormal white blood cells. There are four main types of leukemia — acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), acute myeloid leukemia (AML), chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) — as well as about a dozen less common types. There are four imprecisely defined  populations – infants, children, young adults and mature adults.

In the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015 published in The Lancet leukemia was present in 2.3 million people and caused 353,500 deaths world-wide. About 75% of leukemia cases in children are ALL, but about 90% of all leukemias are diagnosed in adults, with AML and CLL being the most common. About 250,000 people in the United States have some form of leukemia, including those that have achieved remission or cure. Approximately 50,00 new cases of leukemia are diagnosed per year in the US. I hope to get more quantitative data.

Among environmental factors thought to be causes we have smoking, ionizing radiation, some chemicals (notably benzene), prior chemotherapy, and Down syndrome (chromosome 21 trisomy). There is some interesting research on genetic causes of some leukemias, especially involving genes on chromosome 21.

Of interest was an email from China which mentioned that in traditional Chinese medicine there are several diagnoses that we would associate with leukemia. In some cases the drug homoharringtonine has been effective – made from the leaves of a plum yew tree found in parts of Asia – Cephalotaxus harringtoni. Of additional interest was the advice to de-emphasize direct (flesh on flesh) and indirect (flesh on floor) impacts during practice. The example was given of Buddha’s Warrior Pounds Mortar (done multiple times in 18 Movements, Lao Jia 1, Lao Jia 2 [Cannon Fist], Xin Jia 1 and Xin Jia 2) where the back of the right fist impacts the upturned left palm and the right foot stomps into the ground. The problems are most people with leukemia bruise easily, and the bruising tends to increase the number and activity of abnormal white blood cells.

I am checking around if Dit Da Jow, the liniment used in Iron Palm training, might be useful.