Leukimia is a malignant type cancer of the bone marrow and blood. It is defined by the uncontrolled accumulation of blood cells. They are not able to carry out the normal functions of blood cells.
Scientists don’t understand the exact causes of leukemia. It seems to develop from a combination of genetic and environmental factors. But then they belief that there are some causes which in each type may be different. Different types of leukimia means different treatments and also different causes and symptoms.
1. Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL)
Most cases of ALL have no obvious causes. However, there are some causes which may play a role in the development of it:
* Certain chromosome problems.
* Radiation exposure or being exposed to x-rays before birth.
* Past treatment with chemotherapy drugs. See a nice related resource on chemo side effects.
* Receiving a bone marrow transplant.
* Toxins such as benzene.
2. Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML)
Most of the time, a doctor cannot tell you what caused AML. But there some things which may lead to this kind of type:
* Certain chemicals (for example, benzene)
* Certain chemotherapy drugs, including etoposide and drugs known as alkylating agents
* A weakened immune system
* Blood disorders
* Exposure to radiation and chemicals
3. Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL)
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) causes a slow increase in the number of white blood cells called B lympocytic, or B cells, in the bone marrow. The cancerous cells spread from the blood marrow to the blood, and can also effect the lymph nodes or other organs such as the liver and spleen. CLL eventually causes the bone marrow to fail, resulting in low blood counts, and weakens immune system.
4. Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML)
It takes many years to develop leukemia from this cause. However most people treated for cancer with radiation do not go on to develop leukimia. Radiation increases the risk of developing CML. Exposure may occure from:
* High-dose radiation treatments used in the past to treat thyroid cancer or Hodgkin’s lymphoma
* Nuclear disaster