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NBA Great Kareem Abdul Jabbar diagnosed with Leukemia

November 10, 2009
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If he can fight Bruce he can fight Cancer

Kareem Abdul Jabbar, who grew up in the Inwood section of Manhattan, was recently diagnosed with a rare form of blood cancer called chronic myeloid leukemia. Abdul Jabbar spent 20 illustrious years with both the Bucks and Lakers and is one of the NBA’s 50 all time greatest players.

“I’ve never been a person to share my private life,” Abdul-Jabbar said. “But I can help save lives. It’s incumbent on someone like me to talk about this.”

CML — which is what the disease is most commonly called — is a rare form of Leukemia that is diagnosed in 4,570 patients annually, compared to the 240,510 patients diagnosed with breast cancer last year. CML is caused by a genetic mutation known as the Philadelphia chromosome. There is a five-year survival rate in cases treated early with a drug called imatinib, which is produced by pharmaceutical giant Novartis.

Let’s all keep the big guy in our prayers and hope that he sky hooks CML out of his system.

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