Leukemia Demystified


Leukemia is a group of cancers which start in the bone marrow and lead to the growth of a large number of abnormal white blood cells. These white blood cells are abnormal because they are not correctly and fully developed and are also known as leukemia cells or blasts. The most common signs and symptoms of Leukemia include bruising issues, bleeding, fever, feeling tired often and an increase in the risk of infections. Since there is shortage of the normal blood cells these symptoms may arise. It is a fact that the precise reason of Leukemia is still not known or understood. There are several different kinds of Leukemia and each may have its own different cause. The following are some more facts related to this disease.
• There are four main types of Leukemia and they include Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL), chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL), Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) and Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML).
• While the exact cause is not known, there are certain risk factors related to the disease and they include exposure to certain chemicals, smoking, ionizing radiation, Down syndrome and prior chemotherapy as well. Infact those who have a certain family history of the disease may also be at a higher risk as compared to others.
• When it comes to the treatment, there are many options available and some of them include radiation therapy, chemotherapy, bone marrow transplant, targeted therapy etc. Besides these treatment methods, it is a fact that supportive care and palliative care also prove helpful. There are certain types of Leukemias which can also be treated by watchful waiting.
• In the year 2012, about 352000 were affected by Leukemia globally. Moreover, in the same year, about 265000 people died of the disease.
• Another fact related to Leukemia is that it is the most common type of cancer among children however 90% of the cases of this disease is diagnosed among adults.
• Number of new cases of Leukemia was 13.5 per 100000 men and women per year. On the other hand, the number of deaths was 6.9 per 100000 men and women per year.
• As far as the risk factor is concerned, about 1.5 percent of men and women will be diagnosed with this disease at a certain point in their lifetime.
• Leukemia is the 10th most frequently occurring type of cancer in all ethnicities and races.