This cancer starts in blood-forming tissue, e.g. bone marrow and develops huge numbers of blood cells and enters the bloodstream.
Types of Leukemia
The types of leukemia can be grouped as under:
- Chronic leukemia: In the early state of this disease, the leukemia cells can still perform some work of normal white blood cells. Symptoms may not be visible at first. Chronic leukemia is often discovered during a routine checkup.
- Acute leukemia: The leukemia cells are unable to any of the work of normal white blood cells. The growth rate of leukemia cells increases rapidly.
- Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL): CLL affects lymphoid cells and generally develops slowly. This disease is diagnosed with people over age 55. It mostly never affects children.
- Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML): CML affects myeloid cells and generally grows slowly at first.
- Acute lymphocytic (lymphoblastic) leukemia (ALL): ALL affects lymphoid cells and grows fast. ALL is the most general type of leukemia in young children. Adults are also affected.
- Acute myeloid leukemia (AML): AML affects myeloid cells and grows rapidly. It occurs in both adults and children.
- Hairy cell leukemia is a rare type of chronic leukemia.
The symptoms of leukemia depend on the quantity of leukemia cells and the location it is collect in the body.
Common symptoms of chronic or acute leukemia:
- Swollen lymph nodes generally painless
- Night Sweat or Fevers
- Frequent infections
- Bleeding and bruising easily
- Swelling or discomfort in the abdomen
- Weight loss
- Bones or joint pains
People with leukemia can opt for different types of treatments:
- Watchful Waiting
- Target Therapy
- Biological Therapy
- Radiation Therapy
- Stem Cell Transplant
- People with chronic leukemia having no symptoms may be able to ward off taking cancer treatment. By delaying treatment, the side effects treatment can be avoided until they have symptoms.
- But a regular check ups (like every 3 months) is mandatory. You can go for treatment on the occurrence of symptoms.
- This method of watchful waiting often cut down the chance to control leukemia before it gets worse.
- Many people with leukemia are treated with chemotherapy. Chemotherapy administers drugs to kill leukemia cells.
- Depending on the kind of leukemia, you may get a single drug or a mixture of two or more drugs.
Chemotherapy can be conducted in several ways:
- By mouth
- Into a vein (IV)
- Through a catheter (a thin, flexible tube)
- Into the cerebrospinal fluid
- Into the spinal fluid
- Under the scalp
Chemotherapy is generally given in cycles. Each cycle has a treatment duration followed by rest duration.
Targeted therapies administer drugs that stop the development of leukemia cells.
- Some people having leukemia get treated by drugs called biological therapy. Biological therapy for leukemia is that treatment which enhances the body's natural immune system against the disease.
- One type of biological therapy is termed as monoclonal antibody. It's administered by IV infusion. A kind of monoclonal antibody contains a toxin that destroys the leukemia cells. Another kind enable the defense system destroy leukemia cells.
- Radiation therapy administers high-energy rays to destroy leukemia cells. People receive radiation therapy at clinic or hospital.
- Some people get radiation from a huge machine that is focused at the spleen, the brain, or different other that portions of the body where leukemia cells have assembled. This type of therapy is conducted 5 days a week for number of weeks.
Stem Cell Transplant
Some people suffering from leukemia receive a stem cell transplant. In stem cell transplant high doses of drugs, radiation, or both are administered. The high doses kill leukemia cells as well as normal blood cells also. New blood cells grow from the transplanted stem cells.
A to Z Cancer Types