Leukemia or leukaemia meaning white blood (Greek leukos, “white”; aima, “blood”) is a cancer of the blood or bone marrow and is characterized by an unusual growth of blood cells, mostly white blood cells (leukocytes)and is split into its acute and chronic types. It can affect the digestive tract, kidneys, lungs, or other areas of the body and can also collect in the testicles producing swelling.
Leukemia is one of the most typical cancers of children, But isn’t just a childhood disease, as many think. It is routinely diagnosed in about twenty nine thousand adults and two thousand children a year in the United States and has four basic types and a number of sub-types of which only some of them are routine among children. Leukemia that has spread to the brain may create central nervous system effects, like headaches, seizures, weakness, blurred vision, balance difficulties, or vomiting and the disease, or the chemotherapy used to treat it, can produce anemia.
Acute leukemia is characterized by the rapid multiplication of immature blood cells, and is a potentially curable disease; However only a small number of people are cured with present therapies. It begins with one or several white blood cells that have a lost or damaged DNA sequence and gets worse rapidly and may make you feel sick right away. Its tendency is to develop suddenly, whereas some chronic varieties may be around for years before they are even diagnosed. Immediate treatment is needed due to the rapid progression and accumulation of the malignant cells, which then flow into the bloodstream and spread to other parts of the body. Whereas acute leukemia must be treated at once, chronic forms are sometimes monitored for long periods of time before treatment to ensure maximum effectiveness of therapy.
Chronic leukemia (persistent) is distinguished by the excessive growth of relatively mature, but still abnormal, blood cells and often goes undetected for any number of years until it is identified in a standard blood test. It is more common between ages 40 and 70 and is seldom found among young people. Its tendency is to gets worse slowly and may not produce symptoms for years. Like a lot of other cancers, it is a disease of old age. Health care professionals often find chronic leukemia during a regular checkup, before there are any noticeable symptoms. In adults, the acute forms occur in individuals of all ages, whereas the chronic varieties tend to occur in people older than 40 years. Even though slow-growing chronic leukemia may also be seen in children, it occurs seldomly, accounting for fewer than 50 cases in children a year in the USA.
Treatment of leukemia is complicated and it depends on your age and health, the kind and how far it has spread. Treatment is normally considered necessary when the patient exhibits signs and symptoms such as low blood cell counts. In general, ALL therapy is divided into several phases. In children, an intensive six month treatment program is needed after induction, followed by two years of maintenance chemotherapy. For children with low-risk, standard therapy routinely consists of three medicines (prednisone, L-asparaginase, and vincristine) for the first month of treatment. High-risk individuals receive higher drug doses plus treatment with additional chemotherapeutic agents. Follow-up therapy for ALL patients routinely consists of: supportive care, such as intravenous nutrition and therapy with oral antibiotics.
Generally speaking, the indications for treatment are: falling hemoglobin or platelet count, progressing to a later stage of disease, painful, disease-related overgrowth of lymph nodes or spleen, lymphocyte doubling time (an indicator of lymphocyte reproduction) of fewer than 12 months. Overall, the plan is to control bone marrow and systemic (whole-body) disease while offering specific therapy for the central nervous system (CNS), if necessary. Consolidation or “maintenance” treatments may be used to prevent disease recurrence once remission has been achieved. Whatever the plan, it is vital for the patient to understand the treatment that is being used and the reasons behind the selection.
Leukemia is a cancer of blood-forming cells in the bone marrow. These cells crowd out other kinds of blood cells produced by the bone marrow, including red blood cells, which transport oxygen to tissues throughout your body, and platelets, which help produce blood clots. Leukemia cells can spread to the lymph nodes or other organs producing swelling and/or pain and can also collect in the kidney, liver and spleen, causing enlargening of these organs. They may also affect the lungs and other parts of the body. Acute kinds can occur in children and young adults. Chronic forms mostly happens in older individuals, but can theoretically occur in all age group.
There is no single known reason for all of the different forms of leukemia. Studies have connected exposure to petrochemicals, such as benzene, and hair dyes to the development of some forms. Viruses have been linked to other forms. Until the cause or causes are discovered, there is no known way to prevent the occurrence of the disease. Since 1998, it is estimated that each year, approximately 30,800 persons will be diagnosed with the disease in the USA and 21,700 individuals will die of the disease.
Ricardo Henri is the owner of Natural Remedies,Treatments And Cures,a website with a plethora of info about caring for your own body without relying on drugs and needless surgery. Subscribe to his monthly newsletter @ alternative treatments or alternative medicine