Leukemia: A Blood Cancer

Leukemia, as being defined, is a bone marrow disorder which occurs when there is an abnormal increase of white blood cells, one of the blood cell types which main function is to fight against invading bacteria and viruses. When this blood cell abnormality arises, it can bring two harmful effects to the body.

  • This leads to improper maturity of the white blood cells (WBC) as they develop. As a result, it deteriorates the body's immune system as it weakens the ability of WBC to fight against infections.
  • This may pack the bone marrow resulting to no room for platelets and red blood cells which also have essential functions to the body.

Two Types of Leukemia

  • Acute Leukemia

This needs immediate treatment as this rapidly increases the progress of the malignant cells. This is the common form usually experience by children who have leukemia.

  • Chronic Leukemia

This does not always require immediate treatment as it develops the cancer cells gradually. However, regular checkup is advised to control the symptoms of the disease. This form is commonly experience by the older ones and is seldom cured.

Signs and Symptoms of Leukemia

Leukemia has imprecise symptoms but patients may experience some of these symptoms.

  • Headaches
  • Unexplained loss of weight
  • Bleeding from nose and gums
  • Bone pain with unknown causes
  • Skin rash
  • Fever, night sweats, chills and other flu-like
  • Easy bruising
  • Blood in urine
  • Fatigue
  • Stomach fullness
  • Frequent viral or bacterial infections

What causes leukemia?

According to studies, there are several factors which cause leukemia.

  • Chemicals

Carcinogens are chemicals present in food which can trigger the cancer cells.

  • Viruses

Leukemia is believed to have been caused by some viral infections.

  • Genetics

Leukemia is a hereditary ailment which tends to occur in some families.

How to treat Leukemia?

There are several treatment options on leukemia. These include:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Surgery
  • Bone marrow transplant
  • Biological therapy
  • Radiation therapy
  • Innovative treatments