What is leukemia, and what are its types and its treatment
Leukemia is a malignant cancer that first affects the organs that produce blood and blood cells,like the lymph and the bone marrow. These organs loose control over the number and quality of white blood cells (also known as leukocytes) that they produce, so the blood gets saturated with with abnormal white blood cells that can't fulfill their initial role of protecting the body against viruses and bacteria.
Normally, the body produces a limited amount of cells that die after they do what they are supposed to do, and then new ones are created. But when cancer occurs this process malfunctions and the cells are not developing properly and they do not die when they should. Furthermore, although they do not die, more and more cancerous cells are created.
There are four types of leukemia cancer:
-acute Myelogenous Leukemia
-chronic Myelogenous Leukemia
-acute Lymphocytic Leukemia
-chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
The acute leukemia developers very rapidly and is more dangerous, while chronic leukemia develops more slowly and is not too severe. Unfortunately the cause of leukemia still remains unknown, but doctors and researchers are working hard to find it.
Patients with leukemia are not able to fight against diseases anymore because the white blood cells are defective, and when the cancer spreads through the whole body a simple infection can be almost deadly to the patient.
Leukemia has many symptoms that may vary from patient to patient. The most common are:
-a general state of fatigue and weakness
-sudden weight loss for no reason
-fever that appears out of nowhere
-very frequent infections with viruses that are hard to cure because the body can't fight them anymore
-sudden bleeding and blood in urine
It is extremely important that you visit a doctor as soon as you suspect anything because unfortunately the cancer can spread fast and once it has affected all the body little can be done to stop it from killing you.
Leukemia can be treated, but it depends on how far it has advanced. The treatment tries to reduce the white blood cell productions. Then doctors determine whether the patient responds to the treatment or not. If he does, then it is continued, but even if the treatment manages to stop the defective cell production, it may still occur, even after a few years. If the treatment is successful the patient must return from time to time so that the doctors can kill all the remaining blood cells.
The treatment methods are chemotherapy and radiation therapy, or in some cases transplants can be done.
Some patients do not survive the treatment, but the number of victims is decreasing as years pass, and we can only hope that an effective cure will be found in the near future.
About the Author: For more resources on different leukemia related issues like chronic leukemia, acute leukemia and many more visit http://www.leukemia-guide.com .