A prognosis of acute leukemia is based on a five-year survival rate, states Healthline, and only 25 percent of those diagnosed live that long. The subtype of the disease helps determines the survival rate, and is based on cancer cell maturity and which portions of chromosomes five and seven are missing.
The most severe form of acute leukemia, called acute promyelocytic leukemia, occurs when two of the genes in the affected chromosomes are missing, claims Healthline. The lowest survival rate occurs if the cancer cells have spread to the spinal cord or brain, and in some cases, the skin or gums. Treating the cancer sooner rather than later enhances survival, as there is decreased risk of it spreading.
Those who have family members that suffer from the disease also have an amplified risk of a more severe diagnosis explains Healthline. If a family member is diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome, a blood disorder, it also reduces the survival rate of the related patient. The disease is known to not only be more fatal for men than it is for women, but is also more common. Age also is a major factor, as those below 60 have a far better chance of survival than those above this age marker. Other factors that contribute or detract from the survival rate include whether the patient has received chemotherapy already, and if it has reoccurred after previous treatment, states the National Cancer Institute.