Leukemia

Leukemia is a cancer of blood cells and it originates in bone marrow, which is the soft tissue found inside the bones. Blood cells are made in the bone marrow. In this case, the Bone marrow starts making lots of white blood cells which are abnormal. Since, this production is faster than the development of the white blood cells, the abnormal cells soon overtake the normal cells soon in a number. This results into problems such as anemia, infections, and bleeding. The leukemia cells also have the possibility to spread inside the lymph nodes or many other organs. This might lead to swelling and pain. Leukemia is classified according to its growth rate and the white blood cells it affects.

Types of Leukemia

  • Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
  • Acute Myelogenous Leukemia
  • Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
  • Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia

Various other uncommon types of leukemia are also found. Some subtypes of leukemia are also found.

Leukemia Symptoms

If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, please consult your physician immediately.

  • Lump or swollen gland in the neck, in groin or under the arm
  • Bleeding from gums, rectum and also regular gum bleed as well as frequent bruising
  • Regular fevers
  • Sweating during night
  • Pain in bones due to Leukemia in bone marrow
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss
  • Tiredness without any reason
  • Pain due to swelling on the left side of the belly

Leukemia Causes

The most important reason for leukemia is the mutation in the DNA. Mutations can activate oncogenes or deactivate the tumor suppressing genes that can trigger leukemia by affecting the cell death, differentiation or division.

These kind of mutations might occur spontaneously due to reasons like exposure to the carcinogenic substances and the radiations. Among the adults, ionizing substances are one of the most important causes. Various viruses like Human-T-Lymphotropic virus and some chemicals like benzenes various alkylating chemotherapy agents. Various other reasons can be:

  • Tobacco
  • Viruses like HTLV-1
  • Genetic predispositions leading to the same kind of leukemia in various family members
  • Chromosomal abnormalities
  • Down syndrome
  • Exposure to ELF fields
  • Leukemia Diagnosis

    Most of the symptoms related to leukemia are nonspecific and can point to some other diseases. Hence, many times the Leukemia goes unnoticed as being reported by the American Cancer society. However, below you will find some ways to possibly diagnose leukemia.

    • In general, blood count bone marrow examination through the blood tests is one of the most common diagnosis process for leukemia. However, during the early stages blood tests have not figured out the leukemia possibilities always. The damage to the liver and kidney and the effect of the chemotherapy medicines is being studied through the blood chemistry tests.
    • Some type of leukemia is found through the lymph node biopsy.
    • Use of ultrasound, X-Ray and MRI is quite common to diagnose the leukemia. X-ray is used for bones, MRI of the brain and the ultrasound of the liver, spleen and the kidneys.

    Leukemia Treatment

    Leukemia is generally treated through the pharmaceutical medication and through multi- drug chemotherapy regimen. Radiation therapy is also being used quite commonly. In the most extreme cases, doctors often prescribe for the bone marrow transplant.

  • Medications
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation therapy
  • Bone marrow transplant