Leukemia is a cancerous disease which occurs in the bone marrow. In a case of leukemia, abnormal white blood are produced in the bone marrow in place of the normal white blood cells. These abnormal blood cells rapidly divide and eventually take the place of the white blood cells in the body.
The white blood cell function as part of the body immune system but with the presence of these abnormal white blood cells these functions cannot be carried out. Therefore the body is unable to fight against diseases and infections, and transport of oxygen in the body is impaired.
The main cause of leukemia is not yet known but certain factors like exposure to radiation, genetic-disorders and myelodysplatic syndrome could lead to leukaemia.
1. Symptoms of luekemia
Lukemia can be detected through symptoms like; swollen lymph nodes, nosebleedding, bone tenderness, weight loss, constant fever, red spots on skin and fatigue.
2. Types of leukemia
Leukemia is classified based on the type of abnormal cells produced and the rate at which they develop, different types of luekemia are given below.
3. Acute lymphocytic leukemia
This is a rapid growing luekemia, which develop from immature lymphocytes cells . It is more common in children than in adults.
4. Acute myeloid lukemia
Also called acute myeloblastic luekemia, this is a very fast growing luekemia. In acute myeloid lukemia premature cells are blasted into white blood cells which are not able mature, thereby making them unable to function. Acute myeloid lukemia can develop different cells in the bone marrow.
5. Chronic lymphocytic leukemia
This develop when there is an excess production of abnormal lymohocytes. This type of leukemia takes a longer time, might take years to develop.
6. Chronic myeloid lukemia
Chronic myeloid lukemia grows slowly in the bone marrow and slowly spreads to the blood. Although it is a slow spreading leukemia, in future it may change to a rapid spreading luekemia. Research has proven that chronic myeloid lukemia is formed from a chromosome known as the Philidelphia chromosome.
7. Treatment of leukemia
Treatment of lukemia vary with the different types,but generally lukemia can be treated effectively through chemotherapy, radiation therapy and stem cell transplantation.
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