Cancer of the blood-forming tissues in the body is known as leukaemia. Learn more about this condition in the following article.


Leukemia is a broad term for cancers of blood cells, which is cancer of the tissues responsible for forming blood in the body, including the lymphatic system and bone marrow. Read the following lines to learn more about this condition in depth:

Leukemia: what is it?

It is a cancer of the bone marrow and blood. It is a rapid, out-of-control cell growth that is abnormal and uncontrolled and takes place in the bone marrow. The abnormal cells enter the bloodstream after that. Unlike other cancers, this cancer does not form into a mass that can be seen on an x-ray.

There are many types of leukemia, some more common in children, while other forms are more common in adults.

Red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets are among the different types of blood cells. However, the term leukaemia frequently refers to cancer of the white blood cells, and white blood cells are a component of the immune system that works to defend the body against bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other external influences.

In leukemia, white blood cells do not function as normally as normal cells, but can multiply abnormally and crowd out normal cells.

Types of leukemia

These are the main types : 

  1. Acute lymphocytic leukemia: It is more common in children, although it can affect adults.
  2. Acute myelogenous leukemia: One of the most common types, it affects adults and children, but adults have a greater percentage.
  3. Chronic lymphocytic leukemia: This is the most common type in adults.
  4. Chronic myelogenous leukemia: mainly affects adults.
  5. Other rare types: such as myeloproliferative disorders, hairy cell leukemia, and myelodysplastic syndromes.

Symptoms of leukemia

Some forms of leukemia may not show any symptoms in the early stages, and in general the symptoms differ according to the type, but in general these are the most prominent symptoms:

  • Fatigue and weakness.
  • vomiting.
  • fever and chills
  • Headache.
  • Rapid bleeding and bruising.
  • Severe and frequent infections.
  • Weight loss.
  • seizures.
  • night sweats
  • hard breathing.
  • Small red spots on the skin.
  • swelling of the spleen and some organs, including the lymph nodes.

Causes of leukemia

There is no clear and known cause of infection, but researchers believe that this problem occurs when some blood cells are infected with a mutation in the DNA responsible for giving cells orders to grow at a certain rate and die at a specific time, and in the case of leukemia, the orders are in the form of continuing to grow and divide.

Risk factors for leukemia

There are factors that increase the risk of infection, including:

  1. Previous exposure to chemotherapy and radiotherapy for another type of cancer.
  2. Having genetic disorders, such as: Down syndrome .
  3. Repeated exposure to the chemical benzene.
  4. smoking.
  5. Having a family history of infection. 

Diagnosis of leukemia

To diagnose leukemia, the doctor may order the following: 

  • Blood tests: A complete blood count test determines the quantity and developmental state of various blood cell types.
  • Bone marrow biopsy: A long, thin needle is used to remove a sample of marrow from the hip bone during a biopsy.
  • Radiographs: CT or MRI scans may be used to find leukemia-related symptoms.
  • A spinal or lumbar puncture is used to remove spinal fluid and test it to determine whether the cancer has spread.

Leukemia treatment

Treatment depends on the type of leukemia a person has, how far it has spread, and how healthy the patient is. Options for treatment include:

  1. Chemotherapy: To kill leukemia cells by taking one or more drugs.
  2. Radiotherapy: To destroy cancer cells using high-energy radiation.
  3. Biological therapy: to use treatments that help the immune system recognize and destroy cancer cells.
  4. Targeted therapy: to use drugs that target weak spots in cancer cells to destroy them.
  5. Stem cell transplant: to replace diseased bone marrow with healthy bone marrow.

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