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I know that resistant cancer subpopulations can survive cancer therapies and be responsible for a relapse, but I can't find hard numbers on how often this happens to patients.

How likely is it for leukemia to relapse in the general population, and is it more likely for relapsed leukemia to be resistant to treatment?

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    This is too broad, as different cancers have dramatically different relapse and treatment resistance rates. Also, there is no way to comment for that person's individual case, as we cannot give individual medical advice here on their individual treatment or disease course. This might best be discussed with the treating physician. – DoctorWhom Jul 30 '18 at 14:23
  • I think it's a bit aggressive to close this question. The OP is not asking for personal medical advice but rather asking about relapse rates, and although of course every individual cancer is a different beast, the OP has specified leukemia which narrows it down quite a bit from just 'cancer.' This sort of question seems perfectly on-scope for this sub and in my personal opinion one of the better, scientifically answerable questions I have seen in a long time. – Bryan Krause Jul 30 '18 at 16:00
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    That depends on both the cancer and the treatment. It is absolutely the sort of question to ask either when the treatment is stopped, or at a checkup. I've been told that for my cancer and treatment, folks who got a recurrence experienced the same sort of response rates as the first time around. That is separate from "how many get a recurrence" which I've been told, again for my situation, is less than 5%. So I am not worried. Your friend's quickest route to not worrying is to ask their doctor. – Kate Gregory Jul 30 '18 at 16:04
  • @BryanKrause Although I like the question at a fundamental level, it is really quite broad. There are multiple types of leukemia, and a number of different treatments, so discussing relapse and treatment resistance for all types could get quite long. – DoctorWhom Jul 31 '18 at 5:08
  • @DoctorWhom Yes there are different leukemias but I don't feel like it's necessary to answer the question by breaking down by treatment type or resistance to particular treatment, I think a suitable answer would simply cover whether treatment overall is less successful when leukemia relapses. Granted, though, this is not my field so I may be missing some other particulars. – Bryan Krause Jul 31 '18 at 16:05

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