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The sports world was blindsided with unfortunate news on Sunday when Houston Texans rookie receiver John Metchie announced his Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia diagnosis.
The No. 44 overall pick from the 2022 NFL draft will almost certainly miss his rookie campaign. Although safety Andre Hal was able to return to the playing field the same year he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia requires aggressive treatment.
Aggressive treatment isn’t a negative; sometimes it can relate to how treatable a cancer is. For example, Burkitt’s Lymphoma Type-B, the fastest growing cancer on the books, is very treatable with a 90% survival rate after 10 years.
Texans fans know more about their team than oncology. The following information from DynaMed medical library should provide clarity and hope as Houston sports fans shift their focus from rooting for Metchie on-field to off-field.
Leukemia is a type of cancer that effects the bone marrow. This disease is generally a neoplasm of either the lymphoid or myeloid cell lines where the cells begin to multiply in an unregulated fashion. Symptoms arise as the number of cancerous cells begin to outnumber and replace the needed quantity of healthy blood cells.
Specificially, Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia (APL) is a cancer of promyelocytes. These cells are immature white blood cells, the ones that are responsible for carrying out many functions of your body’s immune system. It is generally discovered as a bleeding disorder due to how the cancer effects the function and number of platelets, the substance responsible for clotting, in blood.
APL is a cancer that is generally found in young people with a median age of 44 with increased risk of incidence from ages 20 to 60. It compromises approximately 10% of all Acute Myeloid Leukemia cases and there are only 600-800 total cases per year that are diagnosed in the United States.
The prognosis for this disease and for Metchie is very favorable. Cure rates are extremely high with only a reported 10% induction mortality rate. The chances of relapse are also very low at 20%.