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Physicians know that leukemia is a rare disease that affects few when compared with cardiac disease or solid tumors. Since caring for patients with the disease requires a total commitment, physicians who become expert in its treatment could conceivably risk neglecting the broader knowledge that comes with treating the more common illnesses.
The book edited by Henderson and Lister shows that mastery of the therapy for leukemia requires a broad knowledge of medicine and also a deep understanding of the biology of malignant disease and its treatment. Extensive knowledge is needed in infectious diseases, cardiology, nephrology, (acute tubular necrosis), pulmonology, coagulation, blood banking, and immunology, and of multisystem organ failure. In addition, specific knowledge unique to treating acute leukemia includes pharmacology of anticancer agents, tumor lysis syndrome, and disseminated intravascular coagulopathy in acute promyelocytic leukemia.
The physician must learn the place of chemotherapy within the different subtypes of leukemia as
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