Leukemia is a bone marrow disorder that arises when one abnormal white blood cell begins to continuously replicate itself. Leukemia, which literally means “white blood” in Greek, occurs when there is an excess of abnormal white blood cells in the blood. 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. 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 common Causes of Leukaemia :
We do not know what causes leukemia.
Very high levels of radiation
If you think your child is at risk for leukemia, talk with your doctor.
Chemotherapy and radiation therapy
These are only risk factors. Most people who have one of the risk factors do not get leukemia.
Some viruses like Human T-cell leukemia virus
Working with chemicals like benzene or formaldehyde
Symptoms of Leukaemia
Some Symptoms of Leukaemia :
Fever , chills, and other flu-like symptoms.
Neurological symptoms ( headache ).
Swollen or bleeding gums.
Loss of appetite and/or weight.
Enlarged liver and spleen.
Weakness and fatigue.
Bone pain or tenderness.
Shortness of breath when you’re physically active, as while climbing steps.
Treatment of Leukaemia
The abnormal cells are killed by medicines. Chemotherapy can be taken by mouth, by shots, or given into a vein (intravenously).
Surgery to remove an enlarged spleen or to install a venous access device (large plastic tube) to give medications and withdraw blood samples.
Radiation therapy to kill cancer cells by exposure to high-energy radiation.
High-energy x-rays are used to kill abnormal cells.
After radiation and chemotherapy kills the abnormal bone marrow, healthy bone marrow from a healthy donor is given to a patient through a vein. The healthy bone marrow goes to the patient’s bones and makes healthy blood cells. Most children with leukemia will not need a bone marrow transplant.
Some people with leukemia choose to enroll in clinical trials to try out experimental treatments or new combinations of known therapies.