Monday, September 21, 2009 · 0 comments

Leukemia is the Cancer that starts in blood-forming tissue such as the bone marrow and causes large numbers of blood cells to be produced and enter the bloodstream.Leukemia is a cancer of blood-forming cells in the bone marrow. These deranged, immature cells accumulate in the blood and within organs of the body. They are not able to carry out the normal functions of blood cells.

Most blood cells develop from cells in the bone marrow called stem cells. Bone marrow is the soft material in the center of most bones.Stem cells mature into different kinds of blood cells. Each kind has a special job. White blood cells are part of the immune system and help fight a variety of infections. They also help in the healing of wounds, cuts, and sores. There are several types of white blood cells. Red blood cells containhemoglobin, which carries oxygen to, and removes carbon dioxide from, the cells throughout the various organs of the body. Platelets, along with certain plasma proteins, help plug the holes in blood vessels and form clots once blood vessels are damaged or cut.

Leukemia is a disease that affects both children and adults. It begins in the bone marrow and spreads to other parts of the body.In a person with leukemia, the bone marrow makes abnormal white blood cells. The abnormal cells are leukemia cells. Unlike normal blood cells, leukemia cells don't die when they should. They may crowd out normal white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. This makes it hard for normal blood cells to do their work.

The types of leukemia can be grouped based on how quickly the disease develops and gets worse. Leukemia is either chronic or acute.

The exact cause of leukemia is unknown. smoking is considered risk factor for leukemia, but many people who develop leukemia have never smoked, and many people who smoke never develop leukemia.Long-term exposure to chemicals such as benzene or fomaldehyde.Prolonged exposure to radiation is a risk factor of leukemia. Doses of radiation used for diagnostic imaging such as x-rays and CT scans are nowhere near as prolonged or high as the doses needed to cause leukemia.Artificial ionizing radiation,Viruses - HTLV-1 and HIV, Alkylating chemotherapy agents used in previous cancers,Hair dyesGenetic predisposition are the causes of leukemia.

The symptoms of leukemia depend on the number of leukemia cells and where these cells collect in the body. Leukemia also can affect other parts of the body such as the digestive tract, kidneys, lungs, heart, or testes.The symptoms of leukemia headache,confusion,fever,infection,excessive bruising,fatigue,physical exercise intolerance,abdominal pain, or generally feeling fullness,weight loss,abnormal bleeding,enlargement of the lymph nodes, spleen, and/or liver,weakness.

The symptoms of leukemia are nonspecific and the causes are not clearly defined, one's health care provider will carry out extensive interviews and any appropriate tests in order to identify the underlying cause. Leukemia can be diagnosed with a variety of tests, and understanding what each test is and what it looks for can make the tests a little less confusing. To find the cause of a person's symptoms, the doctor asks about the patient's medical history and does a physical exam. In addition to checking general signs of health, the doctor feels for swelling in the liver; the spleen; and the lymph nodes under the arms, in the groin, and in the neck. Blood tests also help in the diagnosis. A sample of blood is examined under a microscope to see what the cells look like and to determine the number of mature cells and blasts. Although blood tests may reveal that a patient has leukemia, they may not show what type of leukemia it is.

The goal of treatment for leukemia is to destroy the leukemia cells and allow normal cells to form in your bone marrow. Treatment decisions are based on the type and subtype of leukemia you have, its stage, and your age and general health. Acute leukemia needs to be treated right away. The goal of treatment is to bring about a remission. Then, when there is no evidence of the disease, more therapy may be given to prevent a relapse. Many people with acute leukemia can be cured. Chronic leukemia patients who do not have symptoms may not require immediate treatment. They should have frequent checkups so the doctor can see whether the disease is progressing. When treatment is needed, it can often control the disease and its symptoms. However, chronic leukemia can seldom be cured. Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to kill cancer cells. Depending on the type of leukemia, patients may receive a single drug or a combination of two or more drugs. Radiation therapy is used along with chemotherapy for some kinds of leukemia. Radiation therapy uses high-energy rays to damage cancer cells and stop them from growing. The radiation comes from a large machine. Bone marrow transplantation also may be used for some patients. The patient's leukemia-producing bone marrow is destroyed by high doses of drugs and radiation and is then replaced by healthy bone marrow. Biological therapy involves treatment with substances that affect the immune system’s response to cancer.Interferon is a form of biological therapy that is used against some types of leukemia.

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