How to define leukemia?
is a cancer
of your blood cells, or blood-forming tissues, including the bone marrow
and the lymphatic system
Leukemia is usually associated with the white blood cells
which served as infection fighters. However, the white blood cells of people with leukemia are abnormal, thus can not fight infections, and the increasing number of them affect your major organs
What are the major types of leukemia？
Depending on how fast the leukemia develops
and which blood cells involved
, the leukemia can be divided into four
- Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL): The most common type of leukemia in young children. It can also occur in adults.
- Acute myelogenous leukemia (AML): The most common type of acute leukemia in adults.
- Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL): The most common type of chronic leukemia in adults.
- Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML): This type mainly affects adults.
There are also other rarer types of leukemia, like hairy cell leukemia
, myelodysplastic syndromes
, myeloproliferative disorders
What causes leukemia?
A combination of genetic and environmental factors
seem to increase the risk of suffering leukemia:
- Chemotherapy and radiation therapy used to treat other cancers.
- Smoking: Tobacco smokers are prone to develop leukemia than nonsmokers.
- Exposure to certain chemicals: such as benzene found in gasoline.
- Genetic disorders like Down syndrome.
- Family history of leukemia.
Any symptoms of leukemia?
The symptoms of leukemia are vary from type to type, but the common leukemia symptoms include:
- Recurrent nosebleeds
- Excessive sweating, especially at night
- Swollen lymph nodes, enlarged liver or spleen
- Weight loss
- Persistent fatigue, weakness
- Fever or chills
- Frequent or severe infections
- Easy bruising or bleeding
- Bone pain or tenderness
- Tiny petechiae in your skin
How to diagnose leukemia?
There are major three
types of testing: blooding testing, needle biopsy and bone marrow aspiration.
will show whether there are abnormal white cells.
Needle biopsy and bone marrow aspiration
from pelvic bone
are usually used to confirm the specific
types of leukemia. They can test leukemic cells, DNA markers, and chromosome changes
in the bone marrow.
What are the treatments of leukemia?
The treatments of leukemia also vary from type to type, the major options are:
- Chemotherapy: Use drugs to kill cancer cells.
- Blood and platelet transfusions: Help acute leukemia patients prevent or stop bleeding.
- Biological therapy or immunotherapy: Help immune system recognize and attack leukemia cells.
- Radiation therapy: Use high-energy X-rays to kill leukemia cells or stop their growth.
- Targeted therapy: Use drugs to block specific genes or proteins cancer cells need.
- Stem cell transplant: Patients with AML may require it to replace leukemia cells with new ones that can make blood.
- Splenectomy: Stop it pressing on nearby organs.
What are the medication options for leukemia?
- Imatinib (Gleevec) : It attacks the genetic alterations that cause white blood cells to grow out of control.
- Dasatinib: First line therapy of chronic phase CML.
- Interleukins and interferon: Boost you body's natural defense against leukemia.
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