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Leukemia Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

What is leukemia?

Leukemia is basically the cancer of tissues that form blood in your body, including lymphatic system and bone marrow. There are numerous types, where few of its forms are commonly found in children. Others mostly occur in adults.

The disease usually begins in your white blood cells. Normally, the white blood cells in our body help fighting potent infections. Systematically, these white blood cells grow and divide as per the body’s requirements. However, in individuals those are affected by the disease, their bone marrow turns producing excessive white blood cells that fail to function properly.

What are the symptoms of leukemia?

The symptoms greatly vary depending upon what type of the disease the person is suffering from. However few common symptoms include:

  • Persistent weakness, fatigue.
  • Chills or fever.
  • Severe or frequent infections.
  • Unintentional weight loss.
  • Recurrent nosebleeds.
  • Easy bruising or bleeding.
  • Bone tenderness or pain.
  • Excessive sweating.
  • Enlarged spleen or liver, swollen lymph nodes.

What causes leukemia?

Well, scientists have failed to understand the underlying cause of the disease till date. However they consider the combination of environmental and genetic factors that triggers the disease.

What are the types of leukemia?

Some major types include:

  • Acute myelogenous leukemia: this common type can target adults and children both.
  • Acute lymphocytic leukemia: the type is very common particularly in children, though can target adults as well.
  • Chronic lymphocytic leukemia: as its name states, this common chronic type of adult leukemia would make the sufferer feels healthy for many years without requiring any treatment.
  • Chronic myelogenous leukemia: it mostly affects adults. In case of suffering from the type, the patient would have no or few symptoms for years.

Few other types that rarely occur include myeloproliferative disorders, myelodysplastic syndromes and hairy cell leukemia.

What are the risk factors?

Certain factors that tend to increase the risk to develop few disease types include:

  • Genetic disorders.
  • Previously had any cancer treatment.
  • Particular blood disorders.
  • Exposure to radiation and certain chemicals.
  • Smoking.
  • Family history of the disease.

How is leukemia diagnosed?

Routine blood tests can help your doctor discover chronic leukemia, even before your symptoms begin. Thus, in such a case or you notice any symptoms that indicate the disease, the doctor can suggest the following procedures and tests to verify the disease:

  • Bone marrow test.
  • Blood tests.
  • Physical exam.

Additional tests can also be recommended in order to determine the extent of leukemia in the body and its type. Particular types are categorized into stages that tend to indicate the disease’s severity. This basically helps the doctor determine the patient’s treatment plan.

How is leukemia treated?

The treatment depends in numerous factors including your overall health, age, the type etc. Few common treatments that are used to treat the disease include:

  • Biological therapy.
  • Chemotherapy.
  • Targeted therapy.
  • Radiation therapy.
  • Stem transplant therapy.

By : Natural Health News

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