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Does Down Syndrome Increase The Chances Of Developing Leukemia?

1309 words - 6 pages

Down syndrome is a genetic disease that occurs in people that have 47 chromosomes instead of 46. Does the Down syndrome increase the chances of developing leukemia? What health risks are involved in trying to keep children from getting leukemia? I have personally seen the effects of Down syndrome. There have been clinical trials that have shown the results of leukemia on kids with Down syndrome. The life expectancy has gone up dramatically because of medicine. Down syndrome has affected the lives of many and psychologists are still looking for answers to solve the disease.
Children with Down syndrome or what they call trisomy 21 have a markedly increased risk of leukemia in childhood but as later on in adulthood its has less of a chance of happening. Children that acquire Down syndrome have a genetic mutation in the gene called GATA1. Trisomy 21 is the most observed abnormality seen at birth and occurs in about 1 to 700 individuals. Children that are born with Down syndrome have an increased risk of acute megakaryoblastic leukemia (AML) and also acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). In studies it shows that approximately 4-5% of children that are born with Down syndrome are also born with transient myeloprolifative disorder (TMD), a clonal preleukemia characterized by an accumulation of immature megakaryoblasts in the fetal liver and peripheral blood (Mailnge 2012).
Acute Myeloid Leukemia develops when acquired changes in DNA of a developing marrow cell that which can turn into a leukemia cell that turns into a billion more cancerous cells. When AML is first found children will notice that their normal healthy blood cell has diminished quite drastically. One of the risk factors that can cause AML is outside exposure to the chemical Benzene which may cause AML to develop. This chemical also changes the DNA of normal marrow cells. According to the agency of Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, despite the fact that petroleum products contribute to the majority of benzene in the atmosphere, half of the total national exposure comes from cigarette smoke. So if out want to decrease the risk of getting AML in your later years try and not smoke to help yourself. Other cases that are risks to get AML are following treatments with chemotherapy and radiation therapy from other cancers.( Howlader 2010)
Some sign and symptoms that you may be developing AML are a low platelet count which can cause patients to bleed. Any brain or bleeding from the lungs can also be very damaging. The rarest symptom that can cause AML is Myeloid Sarcoma which is a collection of AML cells that form outside that marrow. The way to get rid of this is autologus stem cell transplant along with chemotherapy. (Howlader 2010)
Children that get leukemia about 15 to 20 percent are cases of AML. These kids are treated with induction therapy which is similar to what adults go through. After that is all done they follow a rigorous treatment that results in about 80% remission...

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