What is Leukemia?- Understanding Roman Reigns' Toughest Opponent

Reigns surrendered the Universal Championship because of Leukemia
Reigns surrendered the Universal Championship because of Leukemia

As the world prepared for yet another Roman Reigns promo earlier this week on RAW, something really did seem quite amiss. Reigns stepped out in street clothes, addressed the WWE Universe, informed them that he's been battling leukemia for eleven years and now the disease had returned again.

He relinquished the Universal Championship and stepped away to wrestle his toughest match yet. This one would be against Leukemia, otherwise defined as cancer of the blood or bone marrow. Let's take a look at the disease and understand more about it, in this article.



Leukemia or leukaemia is a cancer that affects the production of blood cells. It usually begins in the bone marrow and results in the creation of an abnormal number of unusual white blood cells. Why are these cells abnormal? Because they're not fully developed and are usually referred to as blasts/leukemia cells.

Leukemia is a disease that is usually linked to children or older adults, but can happen to people of all ages. Patients are most likely to suffer from the disease if they're under 15 years old or over 55 years of age.


A variety of indicators could point to the fact that a person may be suffering from this dreaded cancer. Signs include fevers and chills, a sense of tiredness, rapid weight loss, bruising and bleeding as well as suffering from frequent infections. Each of these signs could be linked to the inadequate production of blood cells.

Anemia is yet another symptom that one must always watch out for. This can be recognized through pale skin and difficulty in breathing. Moreover, when the cancer invades the central nervous system, headaches may be common in leukemia patients. Timely leukemia diagnosis can prevent and help curb this disease in a timely manner.


Essentially, leukemia can be divided into two categories, namely acute and chronic.

In simple terms, acute leukemia results in the rapid creation of immature blood cells. As a result, the bone marrow is unable to create healthy blood cells. It is recommended that patients who suffer from acute leukemia get immediate treatment.This is because this cancer could spread to other parts of the body and cause a variety of issues.

Chronic leukemia occurs over time, when abnormal white blood cells are built up over many months or years. Rapid treatment is not recommended in such situations and instead, doctors recommend that the patient in question is monitored, so as to provide the best treatment suited to his/her condition.

While this is not a general rule, the former kind of leukemia mostly occurs in children below 15 while the other kind occurs in adults above the age of 55.

There are obviously further classifications for types and kinds of leukemia, but this is essentially a sports entertainment oriented website and I shall recommend you read up about it elsewhere, if you wish to delve into it in detail.


As dangerous as leukemia can be, it is certainly curable and there are many examples of survivors around the world. In fact, it is much higher in the developed world than elsewhere.

In fact, the current survival rate is quite promising right now. Children below the age of 15 have a higher rate of survival than adults do.


As is the case with a lot of cancers, those who have a genetic history of the disease run a higher risk of it. Smoking and hair dyes have been found to be two other reasons for the same.

It has been found that those who eat a lot more vegetables may develop protective benefits against the disease. Those that suffer from Down's Syndrome are found to be susceptible to the disease.


Leukemia is certainly curable and the chances of survival have risen from 33.1% in 1975 to 62.9% in 2009 (figures courtesy of Medical News Today). Treatment can include a variety of approaches from targetted therapy to radiation therapy to chemotherapy to interferon therapy to surgery.

Sometimes, a bone marrow transplant may be necessary. Essentially treatment depends on the kind of cancer that a patient may be suffering from.

Some kinds of leukemia do not even need treatment. However, they need to be monitored with frequent visits to the oncologist to keep a tab on the situation.

Modern medicine ensures that leukemia can now be cured completely and driven away for good.



As one of the top superstars in the world, I am certain that Roman Reigns will undergo the highest level of treatment and stands a good chance of returning to the ring for yet another spectacular run.

At Sportskeeda, we wish him all the best and look forward to seeing him in the ring again. Kick out at 2, Roman!

Our best wishes go out to his family and loved ones too, in these trying and confusing times.

A WWE Hall of Famer was just referred to as a politician scumbag. More details here

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Edited by Kishan Prasad
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