It is not possible to consider the scientific issues presented by leukemia without first remembering the great human tragedies that result from its presence as a set of human diseases. The leukemias are diseases primarily found in younger people, and therefore, unlike cardiovascular diseases, do not serve as a somewhat accelerated, albeit unexpected, end to a life nearly fully lived. The myeloid leukemias strike young adults, as do the lymphomas, while the acute lymphocytic leukemias, up until recently, are tragedies of childhood. Leukemias and lymphomas are not rare diseases, and it is likely that every reader of this volume has a friend, relative, or close acquaintance who has fallen victim. With development of our modern industrial and militaristic society we have found ways to increase the incidence of leukemia on a worldwide basis, and I expect that epidemiological studies shall continue to find those agents made by man which are implicated in the development of this set of diseases.
KeywordsAcute Lymphocytic Leukemia Acquire Immunodeficiency Syndrome Worldwide Basis Normal Cell Proliferation Normal Proliferation
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