Leukemia is a type of cancer that starts in the body’s soft tissues and bone marrows. Blood cells are particularly made in the bone marrow. Bone marrows are the ones that make the three blood components such as the RBC, WBC, and Platelets. RBC or the red blood cell carries the oxygen systemically, oxygen is important in the blood circulation- it is one component that needs by the cells inorder to live. The white blood cells are the soldiers of the body, and help it to fight infection and protect it from harmful antigens that enter it. Platelets help in healing wounds by blood clotting.
If a patient has leukemia, the bone marrow makes a lot of abnormal leukocytes or abnormal white blood cells that grows faster and never stops from growing. In time, these leukemia cells crowds out the normal cells of the blood thus leading to serious complications such as bleeding, anemia, and infection. These leukemia cells can also metastasize in the lymph nodes and other parts of the body causing pain and edema or swelling.
There are 4 types of leukemia:
- Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia,
- Acute Myelogenous Leukemia,
- Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia, and
- Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia.
Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia, Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia, and the new type Juvenile Myelomonocytic Leukemia have been found to be mainly in children; but the most common Leukemia in children is the one called Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Acute Myelogenous Leukemia, Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia is common in adults. However, there are leukemias that are less common like the Hairy Cell Leukemia.
- Exposure to radiation in large quantity,
- Exposure to chemicals like benzene, smoke, exposure to chemotherapeutic agents, and
- Genetic problems such as Down’s syndrome.
- Joint pain
- Easy bleeding
- Weight loss
- Swelling lymph nodes in the armpit, neck, and groin
- Other forms of infection;
- Body weakness
- Enlarged spleen
- Checking for lymph nodes and spleen enlargement through physical examination,
- And other blood test like complete blood count as Leukemia is caused by problem in the WBC, so it is increased in the findings of WBC. Like any cancer