Famed magician Criss Angel has revealed heartbreaking news, his young son, Johnny Crisstopher Sarantakos, was recently diagnosed with cancer. Here is five major things to know about his illness, acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Criss Angel, 47, is heartbroken after learning that his nearly 2-year-old son, Johnny Crisstopher Sarantakos, had been diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Being the wonderful parent he is, the “Mindfreak” magician immediately cancelled his Vegas shows and flew to Australia to be by his son’s side during treatments.
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia is a very, very scary form of blood cancer. HollywoodLife.com reached out to expert, Austin TX based pediatrician and author of Baby 411 book series (baby411.com), Ari Brown, MD, to help us breakdown the 5 things you need to know about Johnny’s illness.
1) Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Most Common Cancer In Children
The disease (acute lymphoblastic leukemia), is the most common type of cancer in children. ALL affects the white blood cells developing in the bone marrow, according to the American Cancer Society. The damaged white blood cells leave the bone marrow and then spread throughout the body very quickly. Doctor Ari tells us, “Leukemia attacks the cells that are produced in the body’s bone marrow and lymphatic system. They cause the body to produce abnormal white blood cells.” As for preventing this disease, “There are no preventative measures.”
2) What Are The Symptoms/Signs?
“Because the normal cells being produced in the bone marrow are impacted (white blood cells, red blood cells, platelets) — the results of not having these cells being able to do their jobs cause the symptoms that people have as the leukemic cells invade: fatigue, significant bruising (not just a few bumps and bruises on the shins), fever, significant swollen lymph nodes throughout the body, and less commonly bone pain or headache.”
3) What Is The Course of Treatment?
“There are 3 phases of treatment–which work to clear away all the abnormal cancerous cells, and then work to keep them from returning. There are multiple medications/chemotherapy drugs used to treat it. The protocols vary, but typically treatment is about 2-3 years.”
4) Will The Cancer Be Reoccurring After Treatments?
“The goal is to prevent relapse. About 85-90% of children will successfully clear the abnormal cancer cells in initial phase of treatment, which is really encouraging. Then children are monitored closely for relapse after their leukemia is in remission.”
5) What Are The Chances Of Survival?
“Actually, quite good. Obviously, there are some specifics for each individual case which can vary on the prognosis, but there is about an 85% five year survival rate for children diagnosed with ALL.”
Our hearts go out to Criss and his family as they face this long battle together. We all hope Johnny kick’s leukemia’s butt and recovers very soon.