By : Kate Papadopoulos
- Leukemia is a condition in which the body's blood forming tissues, such as bone marrow and parts of the lymphatic system, become cancerous (Mayo Clinic Staff).
- Its exact cause may be either genetic or environmentally related, but suspected causes include artificial ionizing radiation (ex: chemotherapy), viruses such as HIV, electromagnetic energy, and chemicals used in cancer treatments, as well as common chemicals like hair dye (Nordqvist).
-It occurs as the body's white blood cells are produced abnormally, or damaged in some way. While most white blood cells function and are replaced, these cells do not die off. Eventually, the body contains a build up of abnormal white blood cells. (Nordqvist)
-There are 13 cases of leukemia per 100,000 people that occur each year, and of those 13, seven people (per 100,000) will die each year. Of the world's population, 1.4% of men and women will be diagnosed during their lives. (SEER).
-weakness or continuous fatigue and frequent infections
- loss of weight
-pain or tenderness of bones, bruising, bleeding
-fever or chills
-enlarged liver, spleen, and/or lymph nodes
-abnormal sweating (Mayo Clinic Staff)
- Leukemia is usually found in routine blood testing before symptoms begin to present themselves.
-A doctor may take a blood sample or perform a bone marrow biopsy to test whether or not you have Leukemia. (Mayo Clinic Staff)
- Leukemia patients often are prone to being easily infected and cannot receive any form of a live virus in a vaccine.
-Anemia (low numbers of red blood cells)
-Other Cancers may also develop, most commonly...
- soft tissue sarcoma
- colorectal cancer
- lung cancer
- squamous cell skin cancer
- basal cell carcinomas
Prevention and Treatment
-To prevent getting leukemia:
-avoid high levels of radiation
-avoid exposure to medicines to treat cancer, such as chemotherapy
-avoid exposure to certain chemicals Ex: Benzene (Mayo Clinic Staff)
- Chemotherapy (to kill Leukemia cells) and Biological, Targeted, or Radiation therapy may be used in treating cases of Leukemia.
-Leukemia may also be treated by stem cell transplants, replacing cancerous bone marrow with new marrow. (Mayo Clinic Staff)
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Nordqvist, Christopher. "What Is Leukemia?" Medical News Today. MediLexicon International, 4 Sept. 2014. Web. 06 Mar. 2015.
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