Causes of acute or chronic leukemia
- There is no specific cause or trigger that causes leukemia. Leukemia, like other cancers, results from mutations in the genes and DNA.
- Prolonged exposure to ionizing radiation, accidental exposure of human body to few viruses such as human T-lymphotropic virus, and benzene,
alkylating agents, petrochemicals and hair dyes to the development of some forms of leukemia.
- There is no strong evidence of diet playing role that contribute to cause of leukemia.
- People suffering from Down`s syndrome has a significantly increased risk of acute leukemia.
- A few cases of leukemia can be due to fetoplacental (from mother to child) transmission.
Symptoms of leukemia
- Deprived coagulation process that occurs due to the replacement of normal platelets from leukemic cells that predispose one to bruise, bleed
excessively and develop pinprick bleeds (petechiae).
- Dysfunction of WBCs: White blood cells will predispose one to experience frequent infection suxh as infected tonsils, sore throat, fever and pneumonia.
- RBCs destruction lead to anemia, cyanosis, pallor, weight loss, and fatigue.
- Some may manifest feeling of sick, tiredness, night sweats, Hepatomegaly and Splenomegaly (enlargement of liver and spleen).
- Headaches, loss of memory, seizures due to neurological sequale.
- Combined strategy of chemotherapy and bone marrow transplantation or replacement could be a good approach. Surgery may not be the choice except
to relieve if any mass that occurred due to the metastasis of leukemic cells to other organs. Treatment decision making are based on the stage and
symptoms, falls in the hemoglobin or platelet count, progression of disease, presence or absence of overgrowth of lymph nodes and spleen, etc.
- Chronic lymphocytic leukemia is incurable by most drugs, some of the common drugs are chlorambucil or cyclophosphamide, plus a corticosteroid
such as prednisone fludarabine and pentostatin are used.
- In case of acute lymphocytic type, chemotherapy induction and marrow transplantation are good combination.
- Symptomatic therapy for seizures and fever, etc.
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Next to the brain tumors, leukemia is highly mortal. It is
the most concerned and a reason for long term hospitalization.
Leukemia is simply the cancer of the white blood cells or
leukocytes. White blood cells carryout the most sensible
responsibility of helping the body to fight against infection.
These cells are generated in the bone marrow. In a normal case,
there is no problem with WBC`s maturity, but in a leukemic
tendency, WBCs becomes immature, enormous and abnormal in
quality and quantity. Leukemia (American English) or leukaemia
(British English) indicates an abnormal increase of immature
white blood cells called "blasts”.
Rudolf Virchow in 1845 found Leukemia for first time and he defined it in two terms. Leukos meaning "white” and aima meaning
“blood" in the Greek terminology. The nature of leukemic cells are destructive, and they tend to multiply at different pace. There are
four different types of leukemia based on the origin whether it is from marrow or it is from lymphocytes, they are Acute lymphocytic
leukemia, Acute myeloid leukemia, Chronic lymphocytic leukemia, and Chronic myeloid leukemia.
Major forms of leukemia
Two major forms of leukemia are Acute and chronic where acute leukemia is characterized by a rapid increase in the number of
immature blood cells. Acute one is the most common form of leukemia in children. Chronic leukemia is characterized by excessive
built up of relatively mature, but still abnormal WBCs.