Posted: September 2020

Leukemia is cancer of the body‘s blood-forming tissues, including the bone marrow and the lymphatic system. It usually involves the white blood cells (infection fighters) - the bone marrow produces abnormal white blood cells, which don‘t function properly.

Common leukemia signs and symptoms include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Persistent fatigue, weakness
  • Frequent or severe infections
  • Losing weight without trying
  • Swollen lymph nodes, enlarged liver or spleen
  • Easy bleeding or bruising
  • Recurrent nosebleeds
  • Tiny red spots in your skin (petechiae)
  • Excessive sweating, especially at night
  • Bone pain or tenderness

Certain abnormalities cause the cell to grow and divide more rapidly. These abnormal cells can crowd out healthy blood cells in the bone marrow, leading to fewer healthy white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets.

Classification based on the progression:

  • Acute leukemia – involves immature blood cells (blasts) that can‘t carry out their normal functions, and they multiply rapidly, so the disease worsens quickly.
  • Chronic leukemia - involves more mature blood cells that replicate or accumulate more slowly and can function normally for a period of time.

Treatment for your leukemia depends on many factors. Your doctor determines your leukemia treatment options based on your age and overall health, the type of leukemia you have, and whether it has spread to other parts of your body, including the central nervous system.

Source: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/leukemia

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