Creating awareness about Fanconi Anemia:
Fanconi anemia (FA) is an inherited DNA-repair disease that may lead to bone marrow failure (aplastic anemia), leukemia, and/or solid tumors.
FA can affect all systems of the body. The types and severity of symptoms can differ widely from person to person. FA patients have an extremely high risk of developing squamous cell cancers in areas of the body in which cells normally reproduce rapidly, such as the oral cavity, vulva, esophagus, gastrointestinal tract, and anus. The incidence of head and neck cancer is 500-700 times greater in individuals with FA compared to the general population. In addition, FA patients develop these cancers at a much earlier age than people without Fanconi anemia. Patients who have had a successful bone marrow transplant and, thus, are cured of the blood problems associated with FA, are still at extremely high risk for these cancers. Regular screenings are critically important.
FA occurs equally in males and females. It is found in all ethnic groups. Research has added years to the lives of people with FA. Decades ago, children rarely survived to adulthood. Now, there are adults with FA that live into their 30s, 40s, and beyond. In late 2017, for the first time ever, there were more adults living with Fanconi anemia than children (according to FARF’s registry). This reflects an emerging population of adults that was not present even just a decade ago. This growth in the adult population could be attributed to the dramatic increase in survival following stem cell transplants over the last 20 years. As a result, more children are reaching adulthood.
For more information, guidance or if you would like to contribute towards much needed research please visit: www.fanconi.org