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Aplastic anemia is a rare disease consisting of pancytopenia which affects primarily young men and older persons of both genders. 2 to 6 people per million worldwide develop this disorder annually, with an obvious prevalence in the Orient as compared to either Europe or the United States. A variety of associations have been made in the attempt to find a specific cause, but no one cause can be identified. Treatment must be instituted promptly after diagnosis to avoid fatality. Patients treated successfully for aplastic anemia then have a higher risk of developing other diseases later in life, including cancer.
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Anemia: A condition resulting from an unusually low number of red blood cells or too little hemoglobin in the red blood cells. The most common type is iron-deficiency anemia in which the red blood cells are reduced in size and number, and hemoglobin levels are low. Clinical symptoms include shortness of breath, lethargy and heart palpitations.
Aplastic Anemia: Anemia caused by failure of red blood cells to regenerate.
Cancer: Refers to the various types of malignant neoplasms that contain cells growing out of control and invading adjacent tissues, which may metastasize to distant tissues.
Leukemia: Cancer of the lymph glands and bone marrow resulting in overproduction of white blood cells (related to Hodgkin's disease).
Pancytopenia: A condition in which there are less cells in a person's blood. There are less red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. A person with pancytopenia may be tired, bleed easily and get infections easily.
T-Cell: T cells are lymphocytes that are produced in the bone marrow and mature in the thymus. T cells are responsible for mediating the second branch of the immune system called "cellular immune response." T cells can live for months to years. This lymphocyte population is defined by the presence of a rearranged T-cell receptor.