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From Ohio, USA:

I myself have had diabetes for 6 years. I am 15 years old. I have a friend who also has juvenile diabetes. He was just diagnosed with leukemia. He is now going through chemotherapy. I was wondering if there was any connection between his leukemia and his diabetes? How will his diabetes or leukemia be affected by the other?


Sometimes kids with leukemia get diabetes. In this case, the diabetes is usually caused by the high doses of medications used in the early stages of leukemia treatment. The presence of diabetes can complicate the treatment of the leukemia, if the diabetes isn't recognized and treated aggressively. It's sometimes tricky to treat correctly, as these kids may have problems with vomiting, and at our hospital, we coordinate the care very closely, by having our diabetes team visit the kids at the Heme-Onc clinic when they come in for their followup visits.

His diabetes may go away when he finishes his initial course of therapy. Of course, it's possible that his diabetes was just like yours (that is, had an autoimmune origin) that was triggered by the strain of getting leukemia. In that case, it would be permanent.


Original posting 14 Dec 97


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:56
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