leukemia

Leukemia is a serious medical condition described as a cancer of the blood or bone marrow. It is noted a change or “proliferation” of blood cell production. This is seen on a cellular level with blood and/or bone marrow is evaluated under a microscope and through pathology. Typically there is a change in the white blood cells of the patient.

It is a diagnosis that is seen in both children and adults. Approximately 250,000 children and adults are diagnosed every year in the world. In the U.S. almost 45,000 per year are diagnosed.

Leukemia” is a term with a broad spectrum of meaning and specific conditions

There are several specific types or classifications of leukemia

Learn more about Leukemia in this Leukemia Animated Video

Classifications:

Acute 
–  Seen with a change in blood cells where the bone marrow has difficulty producing healthy blood cells,
–  This type is very common form found in children

Chronic

–  There is a change is white blood cells
–  Typically it is not rapid and progression is seen over several months to years
–  Most often seen in older people but can be seen at any age

Lymphocytic 

–  This type involve cells of teh lymphoid region
–  It may be divided into T-cell and B-cell

Myelogenous 

–  The type affects the myeloid tissues or bone marrow

4 Major Types

1.)  Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL)

2.)  Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML)

3.)  Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL)

4.)  Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML)

Others

1.)  Large granular lymphocytic leukemia

2.)  Hairy cell leukemia (HCL)

3.)  T-cell prolymphocytic leukemia (T-PLL)

Overall Symptoms

–  Bone marrow that is damaged
–  Large amount of immature white blood cells
–  Decrease in platelets
–  Increased potential for bleeding
–  Increased potential for bruising
–  Infections
–  Diarrhea
–  Pneumonia
–  Sores in mouth
–  Weight loss
–  Fatigue
–  Feeling sick
–  Headaches
–  Enlarged spleen and/or liver
–  others

Risk factors

– Radiation
– Viruses
– Chemotherapy agents
– Smoking

Causes

– Mutation in genes
– Cancer oncogenes
– Radiation
– Exposure to chemicals
– Genetic

Treatment

*** – Depends on type of leukemia

Chemotherapy
–  L-asparaginase
  –  Vincristine
  –  Cyclophosphamide
  –  Chlorambucil
–  and many others

Other medicatons

–  Prednisone
  –  Prednisolone
  –  6-mercaptopurine
  –  Methotrexate

Bone Marrow Transplantation

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