Monday, December 14, 2009

Leukemia Cure - Survival Rates Of Patients With Leukemia

Leukemia Cure - Survival Rates Of Patients With Leukemia

Although medical science has evolved significantly in the last decades, the treatment of leukemia is still a major issue in present. Modern medicine doesn’t hold the cure for leukemia and medical treatments available these days provide differentiated results. Survival rates depend on the promptitude of diagnosis, the type of treatment and the patients’ responsiveness to specific cancer therapies and treatments.

Although leukemia can’t always be completely overcome, the progression of the disease can be slowed down and its malignant effects can be contained with the help of existent cancer treatments. Thus, the life expectancy of patients with leukemia has risen considerably in the last three decades. By contrast, the mortality rate registered among patients with leukemia has known a pronounced decrease in the last decade.

The treatment of leukemia is focused towards achieving a complete remission with minimal side-effects. Complete remission refers to absence of leukemia traces at cellular level. Patients who present no evidence of malignant cellular activity after completing the treatment of leukemia are considered to be completely cured. By contrast, relapse indicates a recurrence of leukemia specific symptoms and physiological signs.

In the case of patients with acute leukemia, a remission that lasts for more than five years after the treatment suggests a complete recovery. This five-year period is considered to be critical for leukemia sufferers, as it can make the difference between relapse and complete recovery.

In the last few decades, the five-year survival period of patients with leukemia has tripled. While in the 60’s the five-year survival rate was around 15 percent, nowadays it revolves around 50 percent. This five-year survival period is strongly influenced by patients’ age and the type of leukemia. Statistics indicate that the five-year survival rate for patients with acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) is around 60 percent, while the five-year survival rate for patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is higher, reaching the value of 70 percent. By contrast, the prognosis of patients with myelogenous leukemia is less favorable. The same five-year survival rate for patients diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) is around 14 percent, while an estimated 32 percent of patients with chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) exceed this five-year survival period.

The five-year survival rate for children diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia revolves around the value of 80 percent, while the overall survival rate of children with acute lymphocytic leukemia is less than 45 percent. This type of leukemia is the most common form of cancer diagnosed in children. Due to the fact that it predominantly affects young patients with ages between 3 and 15, the disease is referred to as childhood leukemia.

In the United States, the mortality rate for children with leukemia has decreased with 60 percent in the last three decades. In spite of this fact, leukemia is still the leading cause of death among young patients with ages under 15.


By: Muscle Trainer

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Tests For Determining Leukemia

Tests For Determining Leukemia

The stem cells are formed by the leukemia cells in the bone marrow.These cells have uncontrolled growth and lead to decrease production of normal blood cells.From this point of view the symptoms are:anemia, increased risk of bleeding which include bleeding gums, nosebleeds, bruising, increased risk of infection, slow healing.

The common symptoms of leukemia are:fatigue, lack of appetite, weight loss, fever,sweating.When leukemia arrives to the thymus gland the possible symptoms are:coughing or shortness of breath when the trachea is pressed by the enlarged thymus and swelling of the head and arms (SVC syndrome) when the superior vena cava is pressed by the enlarged thymus.


In the case when the leukemia spreads to the central nervous system there are other possible symptoms like: headaches, poor school performance, weakness, seizures, vomiting, poor balance, blurred vision.Other potential symptoms are: enlargement of the liver and spleen, enlargement of the lymph nodes,enlargement of the testicles and bone or joint pain.

The symptoms of acute myelogenous leukemia are gingivitis and rash.The blood tests demanded for the leukemia diagnosis are: low red blood cell count, low platelets count, high white blood cell count, presence of white blood cell blasts.If blood tests shows leukemia presence, additional cells for analysis are obtained from the : bone marrow named bone marrow biopsy, lymph nodes named lymph node excision and cerebrospinal fluid named spinal tap.

To classify leukemia are used the following techniques: microscopic analysis of cell size and shape, cytochemistry-microscopic analysis of cell after treatment with chemicals, immunocytochemistry of flow cytometry-analysis of cells after treatment with laboratory antibodies, cytogenetics-analysis of the chromosomes in leukemia cells and molecular genetics-analysis of specific DNA sequences in leukemia cells.

When a child is diagnosed with leukemia the tests to be performed are the following: a chest x-ray for determine leukemia masses in the chest, bone x-rays for determine leukemia invasion of the bones or joints, a CT Scan for determine leukemia in certain lymph nodes and an MRI for determine leukemia in the brain.After the leukemia has been diagnosed additional tests can give informational about: the type of leukemia, the characteristics of the leukemia cells and its evolution through the body.

Acute lymphocytic leukemia in most cases is present to children and is indicated by two types: high-risk or low-risk.Patients with low-risk respond better to treatment with the possibility of curding, and patients with high-risk respond also to treatment but receive a more intensive treatment.Even if leukemia represents the blood cancer nowadays it can be treated due to the science evolution.


By: Groshan Fabiola
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Monday, June 8, 2009

Complete Information On Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia

Complete Information On Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia

Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), too known as chronic myelogenous leukemia. Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) is a slow-growing cancer of the light-colored blood cells. It is too sometimes called chronic myeloid, chronic granulocytic or chronic myelocytic leukemia.

CML is a popular leukemia. In the United States, much than 20,000 folk have CML and about 4,600 original cases are diagnosed each year. Most cases of CML seem in adults, but about 2 to 4% of CML patients are children. CML is an acquired irregularity that involves the hematopoietic stalk cubicle.

It is characterized by a cytogenetic aberration consisting of a reciprocal translocation between the long arms of chromosomes 22. The translocation results in a shortened chromosome 22, an observation first described by Nowell and Hungerford and subsequently termed the Philadelphia (Ph) chromosome after the city of discovery. Early signs and symptoms of CML are often vague.

They may include fever , losing weight without trying , loss of appetite and Feeling run-down or tired , pain or fullness below the ribs on the left side and sweating excessively during sleep (night sweats). Chronic myelogenous leukemia is a rare form of leukemia.


Chronic myelogenous leukemia is affecting simply one to two of every 100,000 people. Exposure to really higher levels of radioactivity increases the danger of developing chronic myelogenous leukemia the simply known danger element for this character of cancer. Survivors of a nuclear bomb attack or an atomic reactor accident are at high danger of developing chronic myelogenous leukemia.

The better handling will be distinct for distinct patients, depending on a patient's age and new health factors. Treatment normally consists of respective chemotherapeutic agents used to interrupt the output of leukemic cells.

These treatments may be followed by stalk cubicle transplantation. A marrow or incidental blood cubicle transplantation using cells from a household member or unconnected giver (an allogeneic transplantation) is the simply known handling that can heal CML.

A transplantation replaces the irregular cells in the patient's ivory marrow with robust cells from a giver. Autologous transplantation (using the patient's own cells) is being studied as a handling for CML that returns after Gleevec handling. Bone marrow transplant was too used as initial handling for CML in younger patients before the coming of imatinib.


By: Juliet Cohen
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Monday, May 18, 2009

Childhood Leukaemia And Various Subtypes

Childhood Leukaemia And Various Subtypes

Although there are no accurate data for concordance rates of leukaemia in infant twins, it seems to be very high, and perhaps approaching one hundred percents. If this is correct, it suggests that MLL gene fusion in utero has a dramatic impact, ensuring subsequent leukaemia. But for children aged between two and six years who have acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, the concordance rate is considerably lower at around five percents.

This still represents a one hundred fold extra risk of leukaemia for the twin of a patient with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia but also indicates the need for some additional postnatal events for which there is a one in twenty chance, or ninety five percent discordance. This actually suggests, at a minimum, a two hit model for the natural course of childhood leukaemia.


If this model of leukaemia development is correct, then for every child with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia diagnosed, there should be at least twenty healthy children who actually have had a chromosome translocation, a functional leukaemia fusion gene, and a covert pre leukemic clone generated in utero.
This possibility has been investigated by screening unselected samples of newborn cord blood for fusion genes. Cord blood is actually the best place to find stem cells especially if you want to do umbilical cord blood collection and then go to a cord blood bank or stem cell bank to store it just in case.

The real bottleneck in development of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia therefore seems to be a stringent requirement for a second hit after birth, which is exposure and additional chromosomal or molecular abnormality.

A key issue to resolve is what exposures or events might precipitate the chromosome breaks whose improper repair initiates or promotes childhood leukaemia. Given the biological diversity of leukaemia, it is highly unlikely that there is a single cause. Even for a defined biological subtype of the disease, there probably is not one cause as such but a causal mechanism. As with other cancers, this is likely to involve an interaction of exposure with inherent genetic susceptibility, and chance.

Epidemiological evidence suggests that ionising radiation, certain chemicals, viruses and bacteria may actually play a part in the development of some subtypes of leukaemia and lymphoma in adults and children. Whether any of these exposures have a major role in childhood leukaemia is uncertain, but large scale case control molecular epidemiological studies in Great Britain and the United States if America may provide answers. Doing stem cell storage or cord blood storage in a cord blood bank or a stem cell bank could be a good solution as breakthrough seems to happen more and more often.


By: Wayne Cha
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Thursday, May 7, 2009

Some Facts About Leukemia Treatment Options

Some Facts About Leukemia Treatment Options

Leukemia has two major types: acute and chronic. In what concerns acute leukemia, there are two forms: if leukemia involves lymphocytes, we are dealing with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and if it involves myeloid cells, is called acute myelogenous leukemia. Depending on the particular cell that has become malignant, there can be many different types of acute lymphoblastic leukemia and acute myelogenous leukemia.It was seen that chronic leukemia affects primarily the myeloid cells in the bone marrow.

This is called chronic myelogenous leukemia, and is found mostly in adults, but children and teenagers can develop it too.We must mention that there exists a disorder of the bone marrow known as myelodysplastic syndrome. Often called a pre-leukemia syndrome because patients with it have a significantly increased risk of developing leukemia, this syndrome is often associated with low blood cell counts and increased requirements for transfusions.

Allogeneic bone marrow stem cell transplantation is used to treat a variety of childhood leukemias or cancers and myelodysplastic syndrome that involve the cells within the bone marrow. In this transplant, there are used another person's bone marrow cells to restore bone marrow after high dose chemotherapy and radiation therapy.As an advantage of an allogeneic transplant over an autologous transplant we can mention the "graft-versus-leukemia effect".

The donor’s healthy bone marrow kills residual leukemia cells, and in this way decreases the patient's chance of relapse.As a disadvantage of an allogeneic bone marrow stem cell transplant we can mention the risk of graft-versus-host disease. This happens when the other person's bone marrow attacks the recipient's body. In this way, there appears a disease that affects the skin, liver and many other organs. In this case, therapy with immunosuppressive drugs is needed.


When a matched donor is available, there can be performed transplantation for high-risk leukemia patients in first remission. In very high-risk patients, like those with leukemia who fail to achieve first remission with chemotherapy, there can be done an unrelated donor transplant as soon as remission is achieved. As eligible we can mention infants with leukemia, children with high-risk lymphoblastic leukemia and children with acute myelogenous leukemia. Also, children with myelodysplastic syndrome are eligible for transplant as soon as the diagnosis is established.

Many children with acute leukemias whose leukemia has relapsed can have bone marrow stem cell transplantation. Transplantation can be from related donors like brothers, sisters, parents, and occasionally more distant relatives such as cousins and grandparents.Also, transplantation can be from matched unrelated donors, including umbilical cord blood.In what concerns children with chronic myelogenous leukemia who cannot be put into complete remission with drugs, they should undergo a transplant as early as possible in the course of the disease.


By: Groshan Fabiola
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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Childhood Leukemia And Various Subtypes

Childhood Leukemia And Various Subtypes

Although there are no accurate data for concordance rates of leukemia in infant twins, it seems to be very high, and perhaps approaching one hundred percents. If this is correct, it suggests that MLL gene fusion in utero has a dramatic impact, ensuring subsequent leukemia. But for children aged between two and six years who have acute lymphoblastic leukemia, the concordance rate is considerably lower at around five percents.

This still represents a one hundred fold extra risk of leukemia for the twin of a patient with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia but also indicates the need for some additional postnatal events for which there is a one in twenty chance, or ninety five percent discordance. This actually suggests, at a minimum, a two hit model for the natural course of childhood leukemia.

If this model of leukemia development is correct, then for every child with acute lymphoblastic leukemia diagnosed, there should be at least twenty healthy children who actually have had a chromosome translocation, a functional leukemia fusion gene, and a covert pre leukemic clone generated in utero.

This possibility has been investigated by screening unselected samples of newborn cord blood for fusion genes. Cord blood is actually the best place to find stem cells especially if you want to do umbilical cord blood collection and then go to a cord blood bank or stem cell bank to store it just in case.

The real bottleneck in development of acute lymphoblastic leukemia therefore seems to be a stringent requirement for a second hit after birth, which is exposure and additional chromosomal or molecular abnormality.

A key issue to resolve is what exposures or events might precipitate the chromosome breaks whose improper repair initiates or promotes childhood leukemia. Given the biological diversity of leukemia, it is highly unlikely that there is a single cause. Even for a defined biological subtype of the disease, there probably is not one cause as such but a causal mechanism.

As with other cancers, this is likely to involve an interaction of exposure with inherent genetic susceptibility, and chance.
Epidemiological evidence suggests that ionising radiation, certain chemicals, viruses and bacteria may actually play a part in the development of some subtypes of leukemia and lymphoma in adults and children.

Whether any of these exposures have a major role in childhood leukemia is uncertain, but large scale case control molecular epidemiological studies in Great Britain and the United States if America may provide answers. Doing stem cell storage or cord blood storage in a cord blood bank or a stem cell bank could be a good solution as breakthrough seems to happen more and more often.

By: Wayne Cha

Article Directory: http://www.articledashboard.com

Friday, April 10, 2009

Treatment Of Leukemia

Treatment Of Leukemia

Leukemia is a type of cancer that affects the blood and bone marrow. There are two types of leukemia, chronic and acute, which are treated differently and have different symptoms. Acute leukemia rapidly progresses and needs immediate, aggressive treatment. Chronic leukemia can take months or years to show symptoms and may not need immediate treatment but will require ongoing monitoring.

The most efficient treatment is the injection of healthy cells from a compatible donor inside the bone marrow. It has the highest chances of curing the patients but also the most many side-effects. The second therapy method is the targeted therapy with Gleevec but its curative potential is not yet well established as it has been available only since 2001. A treatment way with benefic results until this time is the immune sustaining Interferon. Other possible cures are in course of development but are not yet approved.

Prognosis for Acute Leukemia

Untreated, acute leukemia is usually fatal, often because of complications that result from leukemic cells infiltrating into the bone marrow or vital body organs.

With treatment prognosis varies, survival rates in leukemia have risen dramatically in the last 40 years with improvements in diagnosis and treatment. Children between 2 and 8 have the best survival rate (around 50%) but overall, treatment does induce remission in about 90% of cases.

To kill all cancerous cells the patient follows a treatment with a very high dose of chemotherapy and radiation.All normal bone marrow cells are killed due to the does of chemotherapy and radiation.Then the bone marrow is repopulated by the stored stem cells which return to the body.To treat disease and also to maintain the immunity of the body immunotherapy is used.For the patients with leukemia interferon alfa which is an immune-system activator produced as a drug for bolstering the immune system of the body is successfully used.

Green Tea has been shown to prevent cancer - Green tea’s anti-oxidants have been shown to have cancer preventative effects. Anti-oxidants neutralize free radicals, the damaging molecules that are created as a by-product of our digestion process. Without the proper level of anti-oxidants in our diets, these free radicals can cause aging and disease, including cancer. Many foods, mostly fruits and vegetables, contain anti-oxidants; but green tea has some of the most potent available.

Some patients do not survive the treatment, but the number of victims is decreasing as years pass, and we can only hope that an effective cure will be found in the near future.

Sweating is a powerful way to cleanse the body from accumulated toxins that usually cause leukemia. In addition to this bowel cleansing, dental cleanup, kidney cleansing and liver cleansing also contribute to preventing leukemia. Other ways of reducing the risk are prevention of maternal smoking, paternal heavy drinking, use of anti nausea drugs during pregnancy, and exposure to solvents or absorption of contaminated water. However, it should be noted that the above-mentioned preventions are mere suggestions. Since the accurate factors that cause leukemia are unknown, prevention for the same remains a general hypothesis.

By: Scott Gillespie

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Friday, March 20, 2009

New Discoveries In Leukemia Treatments

New Discoveries In Leukemia Treatments

Scientists and doctors, with the help of modern technology and state of the art technical equipment, have succeeded in finding somewhat of a cure for leukemia. Pharmaceutical companies have come up with Gleevec, a promising new oral treatment for chronic myeloid leukemia suffering patients.

This type of cancer is one of the rarest and most life-threatening forms known to affect humans. After three month of testing the Food and Drug Administration have announced the approval of this new medicine, in order to better fight leukemia.

People all over the world are now able to receive this life saving treatment that is a culmination of many years of work, and thousand of hours of lab testing. Great investments have been made in order for people with leukemia to now be able to live a better life.

This whole collaboration between medicine and different institutions is a testament to the marvelous and groundbreaking scientific research done by people in labs across over the world. Everyone is lending a hand and trying to fight this horrible disease that has greatly affected man kind.

The new program instituted be the Food and Drug Administration allows the accelerated approval of drugs in order to faster and better fight life-threatening illnesses. Clinical trials done prior to the approval of the drug have established that the drug has a serious effect on the disease, significantly reducing the level of cancerous cells in the bone marrow and the blood of treated patients.

Although long term effects of the drug have not yet been properly studied, results show that Gleevec has a significant improvement on the patient that is suffering from leukemia. Clinical benefit are still to be completely proven, and that is why further tests and studies are needed.

The effect on the early stages of the disease will most certainly have to be studied in order to see a real chance of survival in patients. Side effects have still to be discovered and properly evaluated. On-going studies are trying to find as we speak if side effects do exist and if they do are they serious enough to pose a threat to persons suffering from leukemia.

The new Gleevec actually works as an inhibitor of the translocation- created enzyme. This way the drug is actually able to block the rapid growth of the large amount of white blood cells present in the blood of the human.

By: Groshan Fabiola

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Leukemia And Chemotherapy

Leukemia And Chemotherapy

Leukemia is a disease that affects your blood and bone marrow. It is not a very common disease, but leukemia can be a very serious and severe condition. This disease can lead to death and treating your leukemia case may be painful and hard.

In almost all leukemia cases, the first treatment phase is through induction chemotherapy. This particular leukemia chemotherapy has the role of bringing leukemia into remission. This mean that your blood counts go back to normal and the number of leukemia cells decrease considerably.

This first leukemia treatment phase is can be very intense and it lasts about one week. Three weeks after this induction chemotherapy, the patient must take certain drugs in order to recover. Some of the leukemia patients can also be given extra medication, depending on what type of leukemia they suffer from and how they have reacted to treatment. The first time a leukemia patient has this chemotherapy may not always turn out to be successful. The treatment may have to be repeated a couple of times over.

After this induction chemotherapy, almost eighty percent of leukemia patients that are under 60 will be cured. The number drops at about 50 percent of all leukemia patients when it comes to people over 60. If children suffer from leukemia, then after this treatments more than 90 percent will be cured.

If not all leukemia cells are destroyed after the first chemotherapy phase, then consolidation chemotherapy is next. This second phase has as goal destroying the leukemia cells that are left. Large doses of cytarabine are given to the leukemia patient. This drug may be given in three cycles, sometimes even more. Many of the people that suffer from leukemia and get to this point of treatment will eventually be cured.

If neither one of these types of chemotherapy bring remission to the leukemia patient, than transplant may be his/ her chance. However, a bone marrow transplant presents some major risks and can have serious side effects. So, this way of treating leukemia is not used in all patients and it is only used when chemotherapy shows no effect whatsoever. Autogeneic or autologous transplant are some other methods used in cases of leukemia. Both have their risks, but when they are the only chance left, risk may mean the life of the leukemia patient. It may also turn out difficult to find a donor in cases of leukemia.

By: Groshan Fabiola

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Monday, February 16, 2009

Leukemia – Causes And Treatment Of Leukemia

Leukemia – Causes And Treatment Of Leukemia

Leukemia is a cancer of blood-forming cells in the bone marrow. These deranged, immature cells accumulate in the blood and within organs of the body. They are not able to carry out the normal functions of blood cells. Normal blood contains 3 major groups of cells: white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. All 3 types of blood cells develop from one immature cell type, called blood/marrow stem cells, in a process called hematopoiesis.

In leukemia, your bone marrow produces a large number of abnormal white blood cells. They look different from normal blood cells and don't function properly. Eventually, they block production of normal white blood cells, impairing your ability to fight off infection. Leukemia cells also crowd out other types of blood cells produced by the bone marrow, including red blood cells, which carry oxygen to tissues throughout your body, and platelets, which help form blood clots.


Causes of Leukemia

Acute leukemia: In acute leukemia, the abnormal blood cells are immature blood cells (blasts). They can't carry out their normal work, and they multiply rapidly, so the disease worsens quickly. Acute leukemia requires aggressive, timely treatment.

Viruses: The human T-cell leukemia virus I (HTLV-I) is related to acute T-cell leukemia. This type of leukemia is well documented in parts of the Caribbean and Asia, but it is uncommon in the United States and Europe. Higher rates of leukemias also have been reported in workers who are exposed to animal viruses (e.g., butchers, slaughterhouse workers, veterinary practitioners).

Chronic leukemia: This type of leukemia involves more mature blood cells. These blood cells replicate or accumulate more slowly and can function normally for a period of time. Some forms of chronic leukemia produce no signs or symptoms and can go unnoticed or undiagnosed for years.

Genetics–Leukemia risk is increased 15-fold among children with Down's syndrome, which is a genetically linked chromosomal abnormality (usually an extra copy of chromosome 21). Three rare inherited disorders—Fanconi's anemia, Bloom's syndrome, and ataxia telangiectasia—also have an increased risk for leukemia.

Treatment for Leukemia

Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is the major form of treatment for leukemia. This treatment uses chemical agents to kill leukemia cells. Depending on the type of leukemia you have, you may receive a single drug or a combination of one or more drugs. These drugs may come in a pill form, or they may be injected directly into a vein.

Interferon Therapy: Interferons are a class of proteins that are released by virus-infected cells. They help normal cells to make antiviral proteins. Interferons also help the body to reduce leukemia cell proliferation (growth and reproduction), while strengthening the body's immune response.

Kinase inhibitors: For most people with CML, the drug imatinib mesylate (Gleevec) is the first line of therapy. Imatinib mesylate is a type of cancer drug called a kinase inhibitor. It was specifically developed to inhibit the BCR-ABL protein, and it has proved effective in treating the early stages of chronic myelogenous leukemia. Several newer kinase inhibitors are in development.

Surgery is generally not used to treat leukemia. Occasionally, a person with leukemia that has spread to the spleen has the spleen removed. This is usually done only if the spleen is so large that it is causing problems for nearby organs.

Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy uses X-rays or other high-energy rays to damage leukemia cells and stop their growth. You may receive radiation in one specific area of your body where there is a collection of leukemia cells, or you may receive radiation directed at your whole body.

By: Corwin Brown

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Thursday, January 8, 2009

Information About Leukemia

Information About Leukemia

Leukemia is a disease that is considered to be life-threatening. It requires prompt intervention when discovered, in order to maximize the chances of recovering through specific treatment and therapy. Leukemia is basically a type of cancer of the bone marrow and blood, caused by inappropriate cellular activity. The disease can be of different forms, according to the types of blood cells that cause its development. Also, if leukemia is developing rapidly, it is called acute leukemia, while if the disease is developing slowly, it is referred to as chronic leukemia.

Leukemia is cancer that starts in the blood-forming tissue of the body, like the bone marrow. This year, it is estimated that there will be another 44,270 cases of leukemia diagnosed and about 21,700 deaths caused by it. That's too many. One is too many, but these figures are way, way down from what they were only a few years ago. There was a time when a diagnosis of leukemia was a certain death sentence; but that is no longer the case, and the numbers are improving every year. The bone marrow in people who have the disease produces abnormal white blood cells. In the beginning, they function and behave almost normally, but eventually they start to crowd out normal white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets.


Studies indicate that leukemia is not inherited nor is it contagious. Several factors are suspected, although scientists have been unable to pinpoint the exact cause. No specific sets of preventions are available for leukemia. However, on analyzing the factors that generally cause leukemia a rough and general idea on the prevention of the disease can be made. Amongst newborn babies breast milk has shown properties that help in preventing occurrences of leukemia. Statistics have shown that mothers who breast-feed their babies for even one month lower their risk of leukemia by 20%. The factors that cause leukemia are numerous. Continuous exposure to high-level x-ray radiation increases susceptibility for leukemia development.

Leukemia is a dangerous form of cancer, and it affects thousands of people every year. It affects the white blood cells. The body loses control of the quantity and quality of blood cells, and it becomes very vulnerable because the white blood cells are supposed to protect our organism against infections. There are two main types of leukemia - acute leukemia and chronic leukemia. Acute leukemia is more dangerous because it spreads much faster, but chronic leukemia can be tricky because it has almost no symptoms. The first organ that is affected by chronic leukemia is the bone marrow. The bone marrow is a tissue that can be found on some of the main bones in the body and that has the role of producing blood cells (red blood cells and white blood cells).

Leukemia severely affects a person's immune system; the disease is characterized by low levels of leukocytes of white blood cells, which play an important role in the body's defenses against disease. This disease can lead to other complications such as infections. However, for people who already have compromised immune systems, such as children and the elderly, developing leukemia can have some severe effects and complications. For children, the effects of leukemia can be very pronounced because battling the disease can take a toll on their fragile bodies.


By: greenherbal
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What Is Leukemia And Symptoms Of Leukemia

What Is Leukemia And Symptoms Of Leukemia

Leukemia is a form of cancer that begins in the blood-forming cells of the bone marrow—the soft, inner part of the bones. Leukemia, which literally means "white blood" in Greek, occurs when there is an excess of abnormal white blood cells in the blood.Known as leukocytes, these cells are so plentiful in some patients that the blood actually has a whitish tinge.

As leukemia progresses, the cancer interferes with the body's production of other types of blood cells, including red blood cells and platelets. This results in anemia (low numbers of red cells) and bleeding problems, in addition to the increased risk of infection caused by white cell abnormalities.


Causes of Leukemia

Being exposed to large amounts of radiation.
Being exposed to certain chemicals in the workplace.
Past chemotherapy or radiation for another cancer. (This is rare, and not all chemotherapies raise your leukemia risk.)

Working with chemicals like benzene or formaldehyde

These are only risk factors. Most people who have one of the risk factors do not get leukemia.
If you think your child is at risk for leukemia, talk with your doctor.

It is now known that all cancers, including leukemia, begin as a mutation in the genetic material—the DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid)—within certain cells. The external or internal causes of such change probably add up over a lifetime. Leukemia begins when one or more white blood cells experience DNA loss or damage. Those errors are copied and passed on to subsequent generations of cells.

There is conflicting evidence about whether electromagnetic field (EMF) is a potential risk factor for developing leukemia. Several large studies are in progress at this time to further investigate this question. EMFs are a type of energy that occurs near very high-voltage power lines.

Symptoms of Leukemia

Infection: A child with leukemia may develop an infection that doesn't respond to antibiotics, have a high fever, and become very sick. This is because of a deficiency of normal white blood cells, particularly mature granuloctyes. Although leukemia is a cancer of white blood cells and children with leukemia may have very high white blood cell counts, the leukemic cells do not protect against infection the way normal white blood cells do.

Such symptoms are not sure signs of leukemia. An infection or another problem also could cause these symptoms. Anyone with these symptoms should see a doctor as soon as possible. Only a doctor can diagnose and treat the problem.

Doctors may find chronic leukemia during a routine exam before any symptoms arise. This form of leukemia may develop over longer periods covering months or years before symptoms are apparent. When symptoms do appear, they tend to be mild and worsen gradually.

Treatment of Leukemia

Stem cell transplantation (SCT) to enable treatment with high doses of chemotherapy and radiation therapy; and
Surgery to remove an enlarged spleen or to install a venous access device (large plastic tube) to give medications and withdraw blood samples.

Radiation therapy. Radiation therapy uses X-rays or other high-energy rays to damage leukemia cells and stop their growth. You may receive radiation in one specific area of your body where there is a collection of leukemia cells, or you may receive radiation directed at your whole body.

Leukemia patients often find it helpful to take a family member or close friend along to these consultations in order to take notes and assist in remembering some of the points of the discussion. For children with leukemia, such is always the case.


By: samnickel7
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Sunday, January 4, 2009

Leukemia Causes And Risk Factors

Leukemia Causes And Risk Factors

Leukemia is a disease that is considered to be life-threatening. It requires prompt intervention when discovered, in order to maximize the chances of recovering through specific treatment and therapy.

Leukemia is basically a type of cancer of the bone marrow and blood, caused by inappropriate cellular activity. The disease can be of different forms, according to the types of blood cells that cause its development. Also, if leukemia is developing rapidly, it is called acute leukemia, while if the disease is developing slowly, it is referred to as chronic leukemia.

The direct leukemia causes are still unknown. In present, medical science isn’t able to establish the specific leukemia causes. However, a strong connection between certain genetic factors and the development of the disease has been revealed. Leukemia occurs on the background of genetic failure that causes the excessive production of incomplete, partially matured blood cells.

Also, leukemia has a hereditary character, allowing the transmission of genetic predispositions to disease from one generation to another. Although many factors are known to contribute to the development of leukemia, they alone can’t be considered leukemia causes.

Basic types of leukemia:
1. Chronic lymphocytic leukemia: It is responsible for about 7,000 new cases of leukemia each year. People diagnosed with the disease are usually over the age 55, and chronic lymphocytic leukemia almost never affects children.
2. Chronic myeloid leukemia: It is responsible for about 4,400 new cases each year. Adults are most often diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia.
3. Acute lymphocytic leukemia: It is responsible for about 3,800 new cases each year. Acute lymphocytic leukemia is the most common type of leukemia in young children, but it can also affect adults.

Promyelocytic Leukemia
Promyelocytic Leukemia a growth of the bone marrow in which there is a deficit of mature blood cells in the myeloid line of cells and a surplus of immature cells called promyelocytes. Promyelocytic leukemia is due to a translocation between chromosomes 15 and 17 which is symbolized t(15;17). This translocation is not a mere indicator of promyelocytic leukemia but the main cause. Promyelocytic leukemia generally comes under the acute form leukemia. It is also termed as acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL).

In 1957, promyelocytic leukemia was first accepted as an individual disease entity. It accounts for 5-10% of cases of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). The peak incidence of promyelocytic leukemia is amongst young adults. Promyelocytic leukemia is thought of as a type of AML and is classified as the M3 variant of AML.

Leukemia Symptoms
Leukemia symptoms may vary depending on the type of leukemia. Some of the most common symptoms are:
- pale skin
- tiredness
- mild fever
- bruises
- shortness of breath
- thrombocytopenia
- petechiae
- bone pain
- enlarged spleen
- enlarged liver
- enlarged lymph nodes
- headache
- vomiting
- recurring infections
- Some of these leukemia symptoms also mimic those of less severe illnesses but it is always best to be checked by your doctor to determine the cause of symptoms.

By: "Rich jammes"

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