Bone marrow needed
Testing session scheduled Sunday

by Cheryl Leschasin
Northern News Services

NNSL (Apr 04/97) - "Leukemic cells grow in the bone marrow until there is no more room for healthy cells," said NWT medical officer, Dr. Andre Corriveau.

Although not often diagnosed in the NWT, leukemia has hit home in Yellowknife, with the diagnosis Travis Arychuk.

Arychuk, 13, who has lived in Yellowknife all his life, was diagnosed with leukemia in early January. He is currently waiting at the University of Alberta hospital in Edmonton for a bone marrow donor to be found, after attempts at chemotherapy treatment failed.

Leukemia is commonly known as cancer of the blood. In normal blood, there is a number of red cells, many platelets and a few white cells. In leukemia, the blood contains many abnormal white cells and fewer red cells and platelets.

Physical symptoms of leukemia include gum bleeding, bone tenderness, frequent bruising, headaches, enlarged lymph nodes, anemia and infections.

Leukemia is an unusual type of cancer. Mutated cells are dispersed throughout the body in the bone marrow, rather than grouped in a tumor. The abnormal cells may spill into the blood, affecting other parts of the body, such as organs.

Often, leukemia patients must rely on the Unrelated Bone Marrow Registry to find donors. An information and testing session on bone marrow donation will be held April 6 at Range Lake North school. Session times are either 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. or 3 to 5:30 p.m.