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Diagnosed with leukemia. Will it ever be possible to join?

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  • Diagnosed with leukemia. Will it ever be possible to join?

    I was recently diagnosed with leukemia. I have undergone one round of chemotherapy and my cancer appears to be in remission. Will I ever be allowed to join the National Guard or any other branch of service? I have seen postings referencing cancerous tumors preventing people from joining, but leukemia is a cancer of the blood and does not cause tumors. Thoughts? Links? Regulations?

  • #2
    Re: Diagnosed with leukemia. Will it ever be possible to join?

    The quick answer is MAYBE but it's very unlikely and you will have to be cancer free for at least 5 years perhaps more. Good luck with your treatment.

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    • #3
      Re: Diagnosed with leukemia. Will it ever be possible to join?

      I didn't find anything that specifically stated that a history of leukemia is a disqualifier. I suspect, as Mongoose stated, that if you are cancer free for an amount of time, you should be good to go. One thing to be aware of, however, is that the Medical Standard does state:

      "c. Current or history of diagnosis of any form of chronic or recurrent agranulocytosis and/or leukopenia (288.0) [is a disqualification]."

      More specifically, leukopenia is defined as a decrease in the number of white bloods cells in a person's blood that increases their risk for infection. Getting chemotherapy can create this problem, so be aware that if you are diagnosed with leukopenia as a result of chemotherapy, that is a disqualification. I am not an expert on how likely that would be, but if you're looking for things to keep in mind, this is one of them.

      Good luck with your treatments! Hope to see you in boots someday.

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      • #4
        Re: Diagnosed with leukemia. Will it ever be possible to join?

        No expert either, but leukemia is worse than leukopenia. And if they disqual for the latter, then I would assume they would for both. Leukopenia can also develop into leukemia.

        I will side with the LT and that your only shot in hell would be to be free of it for 5 years to even be considered. Keyword: considered. Cancers can come back even several years later. And you said you were just diagnosed with it recently.
        Last edited by SteveLord; September 7th, 2012, 11:08 AM.

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        • #5
          Re: Diagnosed with leukemia. Will it ever be possible to join?

          Thanks. At least there may be a chance. It sounds like I just need to complete my treatments, live life, and hope for the best.

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