Leukemia symptoms , types , causes and risk factors


Leukemia is the malignancy (cancer) of blood cells , It is also spelled leukaemia , It is a group of cancers which begin in the bone marrow and result in high numbers of the abnormal white blood cells , These white blood cells are not fully developed and they are called the blasts or the leukemia cells .

The symptoms include bleeding and bruising problems , feeling tired , fever , and the increased risk of infections , The symptoms occur due to the lack of normal blood cells , The diagnosis is typically made by the blood tests or the bone marrow biopsy .

Leukemia is the cancer of blood cells , So , It is sometimes referred as the blood cancer , The risk factors have been identified , including the radiation exposure and exposure to benzene , The people with leukemia are at increased risk for developing the infections , anemia , and bleeding .

The white blood cells responsible for fighting the infection , The abnormal cells do not function in the same way as the normal white blood cells  , When leukemia cells continue to divide and grow , crowding out the normal blood cells , So , it becomes difficult for the body to fight the infections , control bleeding , and transport oxygen .

The treatment of leukemia depends on the type of leukemia , the features of leukemia cells , the disease extent , and the prior history of treatment , as well as the age and the health of the patient , Most patients with leukemia are treated with the chemotherapy , Some patients may have the radiation therapy and/or the bone marrow transplantation .

Leukemia symptoms



The popular symptoms of chronic or acute leukemia include the pain in the bones or the joints , The swollen lymph nodes which are typically not painful or tender , The fevers or night sweats , feeling tired or weak , bleeding and bruising easily , The frequent infections , The discomfort or swelling in the abdomen , The weight loss or loss of appetite .

Leukemia signs are the confusion , The enlarged liver , The enlarged spleen , the headache , loss of muscle control , nausea , seizures , vomiting , Easy bruising and bleeding tendencies causes bleeding from the gums , purplish patches on the skin , or small red spots under the skin .

Types of leukemia

Leukemia is the group of different cancers of the blood cells , It can be acute or chronic , and the people with chronic leukemia may not notice any symptoms before the condition is diagnosed with the blood test , Chronic leukemia develops slowly over time ,  the cells may grow to high numbers as in the acute leukemia causing the similar symptoms .

Acute leukemia are more likely to cause the symptoms , The symptoms of all forms of leukemia are related to the proliferation of the abnormal blood cells and replacement of the bone marrow by the cancerous cells , And it requires the fast and aggressive treatment .

There are different types of leukemia , Leukemia is known as the acute leukemia if it develops rapidly , most leukemia cells accumulate very quickly in the blood and bone marrow , leading to the symptoms such as tiredness , easy bruising , and susceptibility to the infections .

Leukemia is affected by how quickly the disease develops ( the acute or chronic ) and by the type of blood cell that is affected ( the lymphocytes or myelocytes ) , The four main types of leukemia include the acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) , the chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) , the acute myelocytic leukemia (AML) , and the chronic myelocytic leukemia (CML) .

Acute lymphocytic leukemia ( ALL , It is also known as the acute lymphoblastic leukemia ) is the most popular type of leukemia in the children but it can also affect the adults , And the immature lymphoid cells grow rapidly in the blood .

Acute myeloid leukemia ( AML , It is also called the acute myelogenous leukemia ) , involves the rapid growth of the myeloid cells , It occurs in the adults and the children , Chronic myeloid leukemia ( CML , It is also known as the chronic myelogenous leukemia ) primarily affects the adults .

The chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is the slow-growing cancer of lymphoid cells which affects the people over 55 years of age , It does not occur in the children or the adolescents .

Hairy cell leukemia is the unpopular type of chronic leukemia , The chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML) is another type of chronic leukemia which develops from the myeloid cells , The juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (JMML) is the type of myeloid leukemia which usually occurs in children under 6 years of age .

The large granular lymphocytic leukemia ( LGL leukemia ) is the type of chronic leukemia that develops from lymphoid cells , It is slow or fast in growing , Acute promeylocytic leukemia (APL) is the subtype of AM .

Causes of leukemia

The cause of leukemia is thought to involve the combination of the genetic and the environmental factors , Leukemia cells have the acquired mutations in their DNA which cause them to grow abnormally and lose the functions of the typical white blood cells .

One type of change in the cells’ DNA that is popular in leukemia is known as the chromosome translocation , The portion of one chromosome breaks off and attaches to the different chromosome .

The exchange of DNA between chromosomes 9 and 22 that causes the Philadelphia chromosome , This creates the oncogene ( cancer-promoting gene ) known as BCR-ABL , This DNA change is not inherited but takes place in the life of the affected individual .

Most leukemias are not the hereditary , but some genetic mutations and conditions can be passed along to the offspring which increase the chances of developing leukemia .

The condition known as Li-Fraumeni syndrome is characterized by the inherited mutation in the tumor suppressor gene known as TP53 , and individuals with this condition have the increased risk of leukemia and other cancers .

What are leukemia risk factors ?

Exposure to the radiation causes the developing AML , CML , or ALL , It increases in leukemia were observed in the people surviving atomic bombs , And The radiation therapy for the cancer can cause leukemia , Certain chemotherapy drugs for the cancer can increase the risk for AML or ALL .

The exposure to benzene that is used popular in the chemical industry , It increases the risk of leukemia , Cigarette smoking is causes the developing AML ,The human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) is the virus which causes the rare type of leukemia .

Down syndrome , Li-Fraumeni syndrome , and the other medical conditions causes the developing of leukemia , The blood disorders that is known as myelodysplastic syndromes confer the increased risk of developing AML .

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