ALL

 

Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) is one of the 4 main types of Leukemia.

Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) is a cancer of the white blood cells (WBC) and an increase in lymphoblasts are seen.

Within the Bone Marrow a production of WBC is seen that are immature.

The concerning factor is when the other necessary blood cells become out-produced by the immature WBC.  This disease can progress swiftly [Acute]

Often affected with this cancer are cells of the Immune System such as B cells

Seen most often between ages 4-12 then again much later in life. 85% of children respond well to treatment while 50% of adults have good outcomes.

Without treatment – the time period from onset to death may be a few weeks to months.

Cancer may move to different areas of the body [metastasize].

Other major types of Leukemia are:

1.)  Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML)

2.)  Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL)

3.)  Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML)

 

What are the Symptoms of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia?

As in other medical conditions, symptoms can vary from one patient to the next. Some patients may have minimal symptoms initially. These are a few of the most common:

–  Fatigue
–  Weakness
–  Fevers
–  Weight loss
–  Bone pain
–  Joint pain
–  Bruising
–  Loss of appetite
–  Swelling in legs
–  Enlargement of lymph nodes
–  Enlargement of Spleen
–  Enlargement of Liver
–  others

What is the Cause of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia?

–  The cause is not known
–  Genetic [theory]
–  Change or damage to DNA
–  Radiation
–  Nuclear radiation exposure
–  Other chemical exposure

How dose Diagnosis process work?

Blood work is essential to the diagnosis. There will be many different tests that will look at a lot of different medical conditions as possibilities. The diagnosis may not be the one they are initially look fore either. It will be a process for the diagnosis.

–  White blood count will be quite elevated
–  Blast cells are often seen
–  Biopsy of bone marrow is definitive
–  Spinal tap may detect involvement of Brain

Treatment of this condition

*** The earlier detected is better

Chemotherapy

To Induce Remission [rapidly kill tumor cells]

Steroids
Prednisolone
Dexamethasone (children)

Chemotherapy
Vincristine
Daunorubicin (adults)
Asparaginase

Intensification [causes tumor to decrease in size]

Vincristine
Daunorubicin
Mercaptopurine
Thioguanine
Etoposide
Cytarabine
Cyclophosphamide

Maintenance period

Mercaptopurine
Methotrexate

Steroids as well

Radiation

–  Used for painful areas
–  Used prior to bone marrow transplant

Bone Marrow Transplant

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