Leukemia is a type of cancer that affects more than 40,000 people annually, and for which there is no known cure. It occurs when blood cells in the bone marrow, their place of production, grow out of control. There are four common types of leukemia based on which type of cells are affected, whether myeloid or lymphoid cells, whether acute or chronic, and whether it occurs in mature or immature cells. The most common type which affects adults is acute myeloid leukemia; more than 12,000 people a year are diagnosed.
Leukemia usually starts with symptoms that are common to many other illnesses, so you should see your doctor if you have symptoms such as prolonged bleeding, unexplained bruising, weakness & weight loss, palor, frequent infections, or pain and swelling in your joints. The earlier it is detected, the more likely it can be treated effectively.
Lymphoma is related to leukemia in that it affects blood cells, but specifically the blood cells of the lymphatic system. There are two types of lymphoma – Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin. Hodgkin lymphoma has the distinction of being one of the most curable forms of cancer. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is more widespread than Hodgkin, currently affecting more than 470,000 people nationwide. Both types share the common symptom of swelling in the lymph nodes, and may have other symptoms.
Both these cancers are highly dangerous but also highly treatable. Treatments include chemotherapy, radiation, other kinds of drug therapy, and in severe cases, stem cell transplants. Researchers are still studying these cancers in hopes of one day finding the cure.
Being diagnosed with leukemia or lymphoma can mean a major lifestyle change. Although treatments of these cancers are highly effective and can allow those with the cancer to still enjoy a good quality of life, they do not cure the cancer and often leave many side effects of their own that significantly reduce the quality of life for those who suffer from the disease.
If you have been diagnosed with leukemia or lymphoma and are unable to work because of it, you may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits to help you with expensive medical treatments and costs of living. The Social Security Administration’s Blue Book of qualifying conditions lists both leukemia and lymphoma.
In order to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), you must provide, with your application, medical proof of your condition backed up by doctor’s exams, imaging technology, blood tests, etc., as required in the SSA’s guidelines. In addition, your information must prove that you are unable to work because of your leukemia or lymphoma.
Dealing with a cancer diagnosis can be difficult enough; dealing with financial problems because you can’t work shouldn’t be added to that. Apply for disability benefits so you can receive the help you need while you fight the battle.
Leukemia and lymphoma are highly treatable and have high survival rates. Don’t be a statistic; if you have any of the listed symptoms, contact your doctor immediately. The earlier your cancer is detected, the faster it can be beat and you can be on your way to living a full, healthy life.
If you decide to go through the disability application process, be sure to contact a disability attorney. Attorneys will be knowledgeable about the process and will help you throughout each step of the process.