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

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

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"

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

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