Leukemia is a type of cancer. Cancer is a group of many related diseases. All cancers begin in cells, which make up blood and other tissues. The disease usually starts in the white blood cells. The blood-forming (hematopoietic) cells of the bone marrow make leukocytes to defend the body against infectious organisms, such as viruses and bacteria. If the cells reach the central nervous system and build up in the cerebrospinal fluid that support s the brain and spinal column, they can cause headaches and seizures. Leukemia often is thought to be a childhood disease. In fact, leukemia strikes 10 times as many adults as children. The American Cancer Society (ACS) predicts that about 35,070 new leukemia cases will be diagnosed in the United States in 2006. Acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) is the most frequently reported form of leukemia in adults, and approximately 11,930 new cases are anticipated in 2006.
Lymphocytes, which are found in both the blood stream and the lymphatic system, coordinate the immune response and produce antibodies. If untreated, the surplus leukemic cells overwhelm the bone marrow, enter the bloodstream, and eventually invade other parts of the body, such as the lymph nodes, spleen, liver, and central nervous system (brain, spinal cord). In this way, the behavior of leukemia is different than that of other cancers, which usually begin in major organs and ultimately spread to the bone marrow.
Causes of Leukaemia
The exact cause of leukemia is unknown.
* As with other cancers, smoking is considered a risk factor for leukemia, but many people who develop leukemia have never smoked, and many people who smoke never develop leukemia.
Damage to the bone marrow, by way of displacing the normal bone marrow cells with higher numbers of immature white blood cells, results in a lack of blood platelets, which are important in the blood clotting process. This means people with leukemia may become bruised, bleed excessively, or develop pinprick bleeds (petechiae).
White blood cells, which are involved in fighting pathogens, may be suppressed or dysfunctional. This could cause the patient’s immune system (white blood cells etc.) to start attacking other body cells.
Finally, the red blood cell deficiency leads to anemia, which may cause dyspnea. All symptoms can be attributed to other diseases; for diagnosis, blood tests and a bone marrow examination are required.
Alternative Treatment of Leukaemia
Green tea (Camellia sinensis) standardized extract, 250 – 500 mg daily, for antioxidant, anticancer and immune effects. Use caffeine-free products. You may also prepare teas from the leaf of this herb.
Milk thistle (Silybum marianum ) seed standardized extract, 80 – 160 mg two to three times daily, for detoxification support.
Acupuncture may alleviate symptoms. Acupuncture may help to enhance immune function, normalize digestion, and address disease conditions. For many patients and physicians, acupuncture has become one of the most widely used alternative interventions in cancer therapy support.
A multivitamin daily, containing the antioxidant vitamins A, C, E, the B-complex vitamins and trace minerals such as magnesium, calcium, zinc, and selenium.
L-theanine, 200 mg one to three times daily, for nervous system support.