Acute And Chronic Leukemia Symptoms, Diagnosis And Treatment

What is leukemia?

Leukemia is cancer that originates in the bone marrow. In leukemia the body makes too many abnormal white blood cells. These blood cells accumulate in the bone marrow. In addition, your body makes less normal white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets.

 Leukemia is cancer that originates in the bone marrow Acute And Chronic Leukemia Symptoms, Diagnosis And Treatment

There are several types of leukemia. The two most important are:
  1. Acute leukemia. The symptoms develop within a few weeks.
  2. Chronic leukemia. It often takes years before someone gets complaints.
In adults, both forms, but kids usually get the acute form.

Additionally leukemia can arise from different cells:
  1. Lymphoblastic leukemia. In this form, the leukemia cells arise from a particular type of white blood cells (lymphocytes).
  2. Myeloid leukemia. In this form, the leukemia cells arise from other blood cells. Usually that white blood cells (granulocytes or monocytes).
Leukemia is thus referred to as acute or chronic and with the type of blood cells which divides an uncontrolled manner. The course of the disease, for any different. The treatment varies form.

It is still unclear what exactly is the cause of leukemia. What is known is that there are risk factors that increase the risk of leukemia. Examples include exposure to certain chemicals, or to a large amount of radioactive radiation. Also, children with Down syndrome are more likely to develop leukemia.

What are the signs and symptoms of chronic leukemia?

Chronic leukemia, the doctor often discovered by chance because you have no complaints with this form at the beginning.

When the lymphatic form are the main symptoms:
  1. Swelling of the lymph nodes in the neck, armpits and / or groin.
  2. Swelling of the spleen.
  3. Infection of the upper respiratory tract (such as throat and nose).
In chronic myelogenous leukemia is the most important phenomenon of anemia (fatigue). Also in this form swells in the spleen.

What are the signs and symptoms of acute leukemia?

In acute leukemia can have symptoms in a short time as:
  1. Whiteness.
  2. Fatigue.
  3. Fever.
  4. Spontaneous bleeding. Due to a shortage of blood platelets bleeding wounds faster and longer. You will notice this bleeding gums, bruising, excessive bleeding at menstruation and punctate hemorrhages in the skin, especially on the legs.
  5. Infections in the throat, lungs and urinary tract. These infections do not heal or keep coming back. That's because the white blood cells do not work properly.
 Leukemia is cancer that originates in the bone marrow Acute And Chronic Leukemia Symptoms, Diagnosis And Treatment

In acute lymphoblastic leukemia also the lymph nodes swell. Also, the liver and spleen become larger.
In acute myeloid leukemia often swells the gums. You too can suffer from bone and headaches.

Most of these phenomena also occur with other, often benign disorders. Yet it is important to go to the doctor if you experience these symptoms.

How is leukemia diagnosed?

If you have symptoms that suggest leukemia, the doctor does a blood test. She takes a blood sample and let it investigate in a laboratory. The lab technician looks at this research especially for your white blood cells. Are there any abnormalities in the blood, your GP will refer you to a specialist. This is usually an internist.

The specialist does:
  1. Bone Marrow Examination.
  2. Chromosome Research. Certain DNA abnormalities indicate certain forms of leukemia. The data is important for the course of the disease and for the treatment.
Do you have leukemia? Then the doctor will check for any type of leukemia it is. Often this will require more studies:
  1. X-ray examination. You can see on X-rays of the chest abnormalities of organs or lymph nodes.
  2. Ultrasound.
Sometimes, additional blood tests required.

What is the treatment for chronic leukemia?

Chronic lymphocytic and chronic myeloid leukemia are several diseases and are treated differently.

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia
People with chronic lymphocytic leukemia who have few symptoms, do not get treatment. It is important to have it checked regularly leukemia by the specialist. Take complaints to, you can opt for chemotherapy. If necessary you will receive after the chemotherapy treatment radiation (radiotherapy).

Chronic myeloid leukemia
The most commonly used treatments for chronic myelogenous leukemia are:
  1. Treatment with a signal inhibitor. This drug inhibits the signals which ensure that shares the leukemia cell. Without these signals keep the leukemia in dividing and she dies. The signal inhibitor works only on leukemia cells. Healthy cells suffer hardly. In this treatment, take a few tablets daily.
  2. Immunotherapy.
  3. Stem cell transplantation.
Some people with this form of leukemia receive a combination of these treatments.

What is the treatment for acute leukemia?

The treatments of acute leukemia are:
  1. Chemotherapy. This is a treatment with drugs that inhibit cell division (cytostatics). You get these drugs through a drip. The infusion is usually in a vein under the collarbone. The course lasts five to seven days. Cytostatics make the diseased cells in the bone marrow broken. Also reduce the healthy blood cells, especially blood platelets and normal white blood cells. This gives you easy bleeding or infection. Because of the high risk of infections, it can happen that you receive your treatment separate from other patients.
  2. Stem cell transplantation. A number of people with acute leukemia can opt for an extra heavy treatment with cytostatics and then a stem cell transplant. The transplant is needed because a heavy chemotherapy not only the malignant cells, but also destroys the stem cells. A stem cell makes sure that you have enough stem cells again. For this treatment you stay a few weeks in the hospital.

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