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What are some facts about the survival rate of amyloidosis?

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Quick Answer

People who have systemic AL amyloidosis survive for about a year, while those with familial amyloidosis can live as long as 15 years, states MedicineNet. The length of survival is lessened if the disease involves vital organs, such as the heart or lungs.

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Amyloidosis is treatable, states Mayo Clinic. However, since doctors only diagnose many patients after their organs have suffered damage, the goal of treatment is to stabilize their organs and make sure that they are functional for as long as possible, claims MedicineNet. In some cases, the patient needs an organ transplant, especially in familial ATTR amyloidosis and renal amyloidosis. The first is treated with a liver transplant, and the second is treated with a kidney transplant. A liver transplant can actually cure cases of familial ATTR amyloidosis.

Some patients have comorbidities along with the amyloidosis, explains MedicineNet. Doctors also treat these comorbidities. Some doctors give their amyloidosis patients chemotherapy drugs, such as mephalan, in combination with bone marrow-stem cell transplants. This type of therapy destroys the abnormal bone marrow cells that are the source of the abnormal proteins that make up amyloid. Patients who suffer from a type of amyloidosis called Mediterranean fever are treated with a drug called colchicine. This drug prevents attacks of fever and pain in the joints and abdomen.

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