Leukimia or Leukaemia (also called leukocytes or WBCs) is a malignant type of cancer in the blood or bone marrow characterized by an abnormal increase of white blood cells. These deranged, immature cells accumulate in the blood and within organs of the body. They are not able to carry out the normal functions of blood cells.
Normal blood contains 3 major groups of cells: white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. All 3 types of blood cells develop from one immature cell type, called blood/marrow stem cells, in a process called hematopoiesis.
1. Acute Leukemia
Acute leukemia is the rapid increase of immature blood cells. This results in crowding and hinders the bone marrow from producing healthy blood cells. In this instance, immediate medical treatment is required due to the rapid progression and accumulation of malignant cells, which can potentially spread into the bloodstream and infect other organs and areas of the body. Acute leukemia forms are most common in children.
2. Chronic Leukemia
Chronic leukemia is the excessive build up of mature, abnormal white blood cells. Typically, these cells take months or even years to progress, and produce at a more rapid rate than normal cells, causing the white cells to infect the blood. Chronic leukemia is mostly found in seniors, but rare cases have been found in other age groups. It is estimated that over 250,000 children and adults around the world will develop some of form of leukemia in their lifetime, where 90% of totals cases are diagnosed in adult.
There are 4 main types of leukemia, they are:
* Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL)
* Acute myelogenous leukemia (AML)
* Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)
* Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML)
Leukemia symptoms vary, depending on the type of leukemia. So doctor will always looks for the symptoms first before decided its type. It is also good to get to know which one is the right treatment for it. And it’s better to get to know what causes leukemia to prevent.