Comedian Charlie Murphy died Wednesday morning at the age of 57 after a long battle with leukemia. Murphy, who was also the older brother to actor/comedian Eddie Murphy, leaves behind three children, and is best known for his appearances on Chappelle's Show, as well as The Boondocks and Black Jesus.

Murphy has been battling leukemia, a form of blood cancer, but according to Time, his family was shocked to hear of his death because his health seemed to be improving. He even performed as recently as last month, with Cedric "The Entertainer," Eddie Griffin, D.L. Hughley and George Lopez as part of “The Comedy Get Down Tour,” Time reported. Murphy was reportedly undergoing chemotherapy.

Read: Babies Cured Of Leukemia Using Genetically Modified T Cells Harvested From Donor Blood

According to the American Cancer Society, leukemia is a cancer of the blood or bone marrow — the area of the body where blood cells are made. Leukemia patients experience abnormal production of blood cells, usually of the white cells.

Leukemia is often associated with children, seeing as it is the most common childhood cancer; occurs in nearly one out of every three cases of childhood cancer. However, according to the NIH Senior Health, leukemia is 10 times more common in adults than children. In fact, most cases of leukemia occur in people over 50.

Early Signs And Symptoms

Signs and Symptoms of leukemia can vary greatly depending on the patient and the particular form of leukemia they have. In addition, leukemia symptoms can often be vague and hard to spot as they may resemble symptoms of other diseases, such as the flu. However, according to The Mayo Clinic, the most common early signs of leukemia include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Persistent fatigue, weakness
  • Frequent or severe infections
  • Losing weight without trying
  • Swollen lymph nodes, enlarged liver or spleen
  • Easy bleeding or bruising
  • Recurrent nosebleeds
  • Tiny red spots in your skin (petechiae)
  • Excessive sweating, especially at night
  • Bone pain or tenderness

Leukemia is most often treated with chemotherapy, which uses harsh chemicals in an attempt to kill cancerous cells. However, treatments may vary depending on the specific type of cancer a patient has. According to Medical News Today, other forms of leukemia treatment include radiation treatment and bone marrow transplants.

This year, two babies in London were cured of leukemia through the use of genetically engineered immune cells, in addition to their chemotherapy. The cells, called T cells, were created in a lab to help better track and kill leukemia in the children’s bodies, and many doctors believe it may be the future of leukemia treatment.

See Also:

Leukemia Treatment Breakthrough: Previously Untested Cell Therapy Saves Baby With 'Incurable' Cancer

Experimental Immunotherapy Treatment Has More Than 90% Remission Rate With Advanced Leukemia Patients