Leukemia

Leukemia & Lymphoma

Leukemia affects the body’s ability to form blood tissue correctly. It also affects the bone marrow and the lymphatic system. White blood cells are one of the body’s main defenses against infection, but those that suffer have bone marrow that produces abnormal white blood cells that are unable to fight infection effectively. Depending on the type and specific diagnosis a stem cell transplant may be recommended.

Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) – There are four main categories of Leukemia: Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), acute myeloid leukemia (AML), and chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). The main differences in these categories are where cancer began and how quickly it grows or spreads in the body. Acute myeloid leukemia is the most common form of acute Leukemia. In this disease, certain cells found in the bone marrow, called blast cells, do not mature correctly. The cells are still formed but are not able to ward off infection as non-diseased blast cells normally would.

Causes – Researchers cannot point to an exact cause but it is currently thought to arise from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. Some unknown type of mutation occurs at the cellular level causing the mutated cells to spread throughout the body. Smoking, working with chemicals, such as Benzene, previous cancer treatment (chemotherapy and radiation), are all risk factors.

Symptoms – Symptoms are often vague making it difficult to spot. If you have any of the following signs and symptoms especially for a prolonged period it is a good idea to consult a doctor: weight loss you can’t explain, fatigue, reoccurring infections, unexplained bruising, bleeding easily, bone pain, bone tenderness, recurring nosebleeds, fever or chills (unrelated to another illness), sweating, or swollen lymph glands.

Ribbon – The awareness ribbon is orange

Cancer Horizons strives to gather information about leukemia and present it in plain and understandable terms. If you have an article or other content to refer to us or wish to contribute content please let us know.

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