Leukemia 1 by lanyuehua


									Leukemia overview

        Leukemia is the cancer of the blood cells. People who have leukemia are at an increased risk of
obtaining infections, bleeding, and anemia. Leukemia is grouped by the rate at which it develops and the
type of blood cells effected. Leukemia starts in the bone marrow and soft tissue inside bones and is a
deadly cancer that is more common in older people.

How leukemia works

         Leukemia starts because bone marrow makes white blood cells. When the cells stop obeying
their checkpoints during mitosis, the cells become cancerous and spread rapidly often causing tumors.
These cells are known as leukemia cells and theses cells don’t die when they should. They overcrowd the
area making it hard for normal blood cells to operate. The sooner the leukemia is found, the easier it is to
cure. When it is found sooner, it hasn’t spread as far making it less abundant and more treatable.

Diagnosis and Prognosis

         Obviously doctors can’t just look at someone and say if they have leukemia or not. Typically to
find out if you do have leukemia a doctor will ask you about your past health, check for swollen lymph
nodes, check for an enlarged liver and/or spleen, and take a blood test to see if the patient has an abnormal
amount of white blood cells. Prognosis depends upon the patients age, the type of leukemia, and how
much/how far it has spread.


         Treatment varies depending on multiple factors including type, features of the cells, prior
treatment, age of the patient, and the health of the patient. There are four main types of treatments, they
are chemotherapy, radiation treatment, stem cell transplant, and biological therapy. First, chemotherapy
is the most common and it uses strong medicines to kill the cancerous cells. This is the most common
treatment. Second, radiation treatment uses powerful x-rays to fight off cancer cells and decrease the size
of lymph nodes, an enlarged spleen, or an enlarged liver. This can also be used as a treatment to precede
stem cell transplant. Third, stem-cell transplant is a treatment that helps to increase the number of normal
blood cells in your body and help your immune system regain strength. Some other treatment may be
given prior to stem-cell transplant such as radiation therapy to kill off the cancerous cells and make room
for the normal cells. Fourth, biological therapy is having a patient take medicines that increase the body’s
ability to fight cancer.


Of the three sources I had, two listed a few causes for leukemia, however the other one claimed that the
cause was unknown and no one knows of a way to prevent it. The two that said there were a few causes
said that the mains ones are large amount of radiation, exposure to certain chemicals, the patient smokes,
they have previously had chemotherapy, and they have down syndrome or some other genetic disorder.


There is a long list of symptoms for leukemia that I have compiled from my sources. Most if not all of
these symptoms are self-explanatory so I will list them all.
      Easy bruising                                    Swollen/painful belly
      Weight loss                                      Swollen lymph node in neck, armpit, or
      Night sweats                                     Getting a lot of infections
      Unexplained fever                                Loss of energy
      Headaches                                        Weak
      Easy bleeding                                    Weight loss
      Bone and joint pain                              Hunger loss

                                          Work Cited

"Disease Information & Support." Leukemia The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Web. 11 Mar. 2012.

"MedicineNet.com." MedicineNet. Web. 11 Mar. 2012.
"Leukemia - Symptoms, Types, Causes, Diagnoisis and Treatment Options for Leukemia." WebMD.
WebMD, 01 Mar. Web. 11 Mar. 2012.

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