Types of Leukemia:
Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL): Common in children. Cancer of the white blood cells. The abnormal cells may collect in the spinal cord or brain.
Acute myelogenous Leukemia (AML): More common in men than women. The number of cases increases with age.
Chronic lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL): Most commonly seen in adults usually over the age of 60. More common in men and rarely found in children. Usually responds to treatment, but is rarely cured.
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Chronic myelogenous Leukemia (CML): Most commonly seen in adult males, rarely children. There are 3 different phases; Chronic phase-most cases are diagnosed during this phase, Accelerated phase-the bone marrow is losing its functionality during this phase and treatment isn’t as effective, Blast crisis phase- the Leukemia has transformed into a more severe form.
Causes of Leukemia:
*Exposure to large quantities of radiation
*Exposure to some chemicals
*Exposure to Chemotherapy when treating other forms of cancer
*Genetic problems (i.e. Down Syndrome)
** One of the most interesting things is that most people that get Leukemia do not fit into any of the categories mentioned above or fall into any of the risk factors.
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*Fever and night sweats.
*Bruising or bleeding easily.
*Bone or joint pain.
*Swollen or painful belly from an enlarged spleen
*Swollen lymph nodes in the armpit, neck, or groin.
*Getting a lot of infections & sick often.
*Feeling very tired or weak.
*Losing weight and not feeling hungry
If any or a combination of the above symptoms are noticed your doctor should be notified. Typically a doctor will perform a physical exam looking for any swollen lymph nodes & a swollen/ painful stomach, blood tests will then be ordered. A CBC or Complete Blood Count will tell what is going on with the cells in your body & help with a proper diagnosis. Depending on the blood count a biopsy of the bone marrow may be performed to help further discover Leukemia.
Depending on which type and how early the Leukemia is found will determine which treatment (s) are used. Radiation and Chemotherapy are the most common. Stem cell therapy is also used as well as many clinical trials that are going on.