Leukemia is cancer of the blood cells.

Bone marrow is where blood cells are made. 

  • White blood cells help your body fight infection.
  • Red blood cells carry oxygen to all parts of your body.
  • Platelets help your blood clot.

When you have leukemia, the bone marrow starts to make a lot of abnormal white blood cells, called leukemia cells. They don't do the work of normal white blood cells and grow faster than normal cells, and they don't stop growing when they should.

In general, leukemia is grouped by how fast it gets worse and what kind of white blood cell it affects.

The four main types of leukemia are
  1. Acute lymphoblastic leukemia, or ALL
  2. Acute myelogenous leukemia, or AML
  3. Chronic lymphocytic leukemia, or CLL
  4. Chronic myelogenous leukemia, or CML

Acute leukemia gets worse very fast and may make you feel sick right away.
Chronic leukemia gets worse slowly and may not cause symptoms for years.
Lymphocytic (or lymphoblastic) leukemia affects white blood cells called lymphocytes.
Myelogenous leukemia affects the other type of cells that normally become granulocytes, red blood cells, or platelets.

What causes leukemia?

Still the reason what causes leukemia is unknown. Some things may increase the risk, such as being exposed to large amounts of radiation and being exposed to certain chemicals at work, such as benzene.

Symptoms of leukemia?
Leukemia symptoms vary, depending on the type of leukemia. Common leukemia signs and symptoms include
  • Fever or chills
  • Persistent fatigue, weakness
  • Frequent or severe infections
  • Losing weight without trying
  • Swollen lymph nodes, enlarged liver or spleen
  • Easy bleeding or bruising
  • Recurrent nosebleeds
  • Tiny red spots in your skin (petechiae)
  • Excessive sweating, especially at night
  • Bone pain or tenderness
How is leukemia diagnosed?
To find out if you have leukemia, a doctor will

  1. Do a Physical exam - Doctor will look for physical signs of leukemia, such as pale skin from anemia, swelling of your lymph nodes, and enlargement of your liver and spleen.
  2. Blood tests - Doctor can determine if you have abnormal levels of white blood cells or platelets which may suggest leukemia.
  3. Bone marrow test
Treatments for leukemia.
Treatments for leukemia depends on many factors. Doctor determines your leukemia treatment options based on your age and overall health, the type of leukemia you have, and whether it has spread to other parts of your body. Treatments for leukemia include:

  • Chemotherapy - This is the main treatment for most types of leukemia. This drug treatment uses chemicals to kill leukemia cells.
  • Radiation - Radiation therapy uses X-rays or other high-energy beams to damage leukemia cells and stop their growth.
  • Stem cell transplant - Stem cells can rebuild your supply of normal blood cells and boost your immune system.
  • Targeted therapy - This is the use of special medicines that stop cancer cells from multiplying.


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