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Leukemia Essay

1285 words - 5 pages

Leukemia is cancerous disease that starts in blood-forming tissue such as the bone marrow and causes large numbers of blood cells to be produced and enter the blood-stream (National Cancer Institute, 2008, para. 1). It is one of many complicated cancer diseases that affect all ages and have very negative outcomes if not treated properly, and on time. Within the disease are several different types that affect according to how quickly the disease develops and attacks the body. It could be classified as chronic leukemia, which has a slow progress of getting worse or acute leukemia which usually gets worse quickly. The types of leukemia also can be grouped based on the white blood cell that is affected (National Cancer Institute , 2008, p. 1). The disease could either start forming in lymphoid cells or myeloid cells. When the disease forms in lymphoid cells it is called lymphoid, lymphocytic or lymphoblastic leukemia. The disease affected by the myeloid cells is called myeloid, myelogenous or myeloblastic leukemia.
Four common types of leukemia exist affecting different people of all ages. Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) is a disease that usually grows slowly in the body and affects lymphoid cells. It accounts for 15,000 new cases each year, and affects mainly people over the age of 55, rarely affecting children. Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML) on the other hand affects myeloid cells and tends to develop slowly at first. As well as CLL, it mainly affects adults, and is a disease that is accounted for nearly 5,000 new cases each year. Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) affects myeloid cells, just as CML disease. This type of disease grows quickly and occurs in both children and adults, with 13,000 cases each year. Acute Lymphocytic (lymphoblastic) Leukemia (ALL) on the other hand affects only lymphoid cells, but grows very quickly affecting mainly young children. This disease can also affect adults and it accounts for more than 5,000 new cases each year (National Cancer Institute, 2008, p. 1).
Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, is the disease that affects children the most and because of the abnormal cells that are immature white blood cells which cannot help the body fight infections cause children with the disease to often get infections and have fevers (National Cancer Institute, 2002, p. 1). The symptoms that the patient with ALL may have depend on the number of abnormal cells of the patient where exactly the cells collect. Children patients with ALL have low amounts of healthy red blood cells and platelets, which cause less oxygen to be carried through the body because of the lack of red blood cells. Patients at times may look pale, feel weak, and tired causing bleeding and bruising very easily because of their lack of enough platelets. This condition is called anemia. Anemia is very much common in patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Fever, fatigue, bone or joint pain, tiny red spots under the skin called petechiae are a couple of symptoms...

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