Leukemia is a cancer of the blood cells. There are numerous broad groups of blood cells, including red blood cells (RBCs), white blood cells (WBCs), and platelets. Mostly, leukemia refers to cancers of the WBCs.

WBCs are a vital part of your immune system. They defend your body from conquest by bacteria, viruses, and fungi, as well as from abnormal cells and other foreign substancesIn leukemia, the WBCs don’t work like ordinary WBCs. They can likewise separate excessively fast and in the end swarm out ordinary cells.

Risk factors for leukemia

The causes of leukemia aren’t known. However, several factors have been identified which may increase your risk. These include:

The types of leukemia

The onset of leukemia can be acute (sudden onset) or chronic (slow onset). In acute leukemia, cancer cells multiply quickly. In chronic leukemia, the disease growths slowly and early symptoms may be very mild.
Leukemia is also classified concurring to the type of cell. Leukemia involving myeloid cells is called myelogenous leukemia. Myeloid cells are immature blood cells that’d normally become granulocytes or monocytes. Leukemia involving lymphocytes is called lymphocytic leukemia.

The major types of leukemia are:

  • Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL). This is the most common type of leukemia in young children. ALL can also occur in adults.
  • Acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). AML is a common type of leukemia. It occurs in children and adults. AML is the most common type of acute leukemia in adults.
  • Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). With CLL, the most common chronic adult leukemia, you may feel well for years without needing treatment.
  • Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). This type of leukemia mainly affects adults. A person with CML may have few or no symptoms for months or years before entering a phase in which the leukemia cells grow more quickly.
  • Other types. Other, rarer types of leukemia exist, including hairy cell leukemia, myelodysplastic syndromes and myeloproliferative disorders.

Causes of leukaemia

The reasons for intense leukemia is obscure, yet factors that put a few people at higher danger are:

introduction to exceptional radiation

introduction to specific synthetic concoctions, for example, benzene

infections like the Human T-Cell leukemia infection.

The vast majority determined to have interminable myeloid leukemia have an unusual chromosome called the Philadelphia chromosome. It has likewise been connected to introduction to significant levels of radiation.

As a rule, leukemia is thought to happen when some platelets obtain changes in their DNA — the directions inside every cell that control its activity. There might be different changes in the cells that still can’t seem to be completely perceived that could add to leukemia.

Certain anomalies cause the cell to develop and partition all the more quickly and to keep living when typical cells would kick the bucket. After some time, these unusual cells can swarm out solid platelets in the bone marrow, prompting less sound white platelets, red platelets and platelets, causing the signs and indications of leukemia

How leukemia forms

Diagnosis of leukaemia

If your doctor suspects you may have a form of leukaemia, you will have one or more of the following tests to help diagnose, and determine the type of leukaemia:

Blood tests

An initial blood test will show if leukaemia cells are present in the blood or if the levels of blood cells are different to what would be expected in a healthy person. 

Bone marrow biopsy

A small amount of bone marrow is removed from the hip bone (pelvic bone) using a long needle. As the procedure can be uncomfortable and even painful, a local anaesthetic will be used to numb the area and you may be given some pain-killers. It is common for children to have a general anaesthetic. 

Chest x-ray

A chest x-ray is taken to check the heart and lungs, and to see whether there are enlarged lymph nodes in the chest. 

Lumbar puncture

This test shows if any leukaemia cells have travelled to the fluid around your spine. 

Fluid is removed with a thin needle from a space between the bones in the lower back. This takes a few minutes, but as it can be uncomfortable, your doctor will use a local anesthetic to numb the area. 


Treatment of leukaemia

Treatment relies upon the sort of leukemia. Intense leukaemias grow rapidly and should be dealt with desperately, normally inside 24 hours of analysis.


Chest x-beam, CT examine and lumbar cut decide whether the leukemia has spread.

Cytogenetic examination additionally might be utilized, to search for chromosomal changes.

For acute myeloid leukaemia and acute lymphoblastic leukaemia there is no standard staging system; the disease is described as untreated, in remission, or recurrent.

Organizing of incessant myelogenous leukemia is portrayed in three stages:

chronic – a few blast cells are found in the blood and bone marrow

accelerated – following a couple of years the leukemia may out of nowhere change and become faster

blast – the quantity of blast cells increases, causing symptoms to worsen. Blast cells often spread to other organs.

Interminable myelogenous leukemia is depicted as stage 0 to IV, controlled by the lymphocytes in the blood, size of lymph hubs and organs, for example, liver and spleen (bigger = higher stage) and effect on red platelets and platelets (less = higher stage).

Common treatment options are:

Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia 

Acute myeloid leukaemia 

  • chemotherapy 
  • peripheral blood stem cell and bone marrow transplantation 
  • radiation therapy to the head. 

Chronic lymphoblastic leukaemia 

  • watchful waiting 
  • radiation therapy 
  • chemotherapy (chemotherapy with stem cell transplant is being tested in clinical trials) 
  • surgery (removal of spleen) 
  • monoclonal antibody therapy. 

Chronic myeloid leukaemia 

  • tyrosine kinase inhibitory therapy 
  • chemotherapy 
  • biologic therapy 
  • high-dose chemotherapy with stem cell transplant 
  • donor lymphocyte infusion 
  • surgery (removal of spleen). 


Treatment Team

Depending on your treatment, your treatment team may consist of a number of different health professionals, such as:

  • GP (General Practitioner)- looks after your general health and works with your specialiststo coordinate treatment.
  • Haematologist- specialises in diagnosing and treating diseases of the blood and lymphatic system.
  • Radiation oncologist- prescribes and coordinates radiation therapy treatment.
  • Cancer nurses- assist with treatment and provide information and support throughout your treatment.
  • Cancer care coordinators- coordinate your care, liaise with the multidisciplinary team and support you and your family throughout treatment.
  • Other allied health professionals- such as social workers, pharmacists and counsellors.
By Magazineup


  • Renata Feyen -

    That was so informative – a lot of things I didn’t know about Leukemia 🙂

  • Cristina Petrini -

    It is absolutely an important and serious subject. A cancer that has closely touched those I know and unfortunately always too young.

  • Kathy Kenny Ngo -

    I used to worry that I would have this coz I would always faint due to low blood pressure. Reading this, I now know better.

  • I had no idea there were so many types of leukemia. I think there are a lot of people out there who don’t realize just how complicated this disease is. Thank you!

  • Mosaic Designs -

    My ant died of Leukemia, it was so hard and we didn’t know much about it back then. Thanks a lot for the information.

  • Great information. My husband is a two-time cancer survivor, but yet we were never advised that leukaemia is can be caused by cancer treatment. Thanks for the information.

  • This is an excellent article to know about Leukemia. Specially knowing the risk factors about it, people can prevent it. For example, quitting smoking may save people from the chance of having this disease. Thanks for the information.

  • I have a loved one who experienced and recovered through Leukemia. I also know quite a few people who have been diagnosed with it. I want to personally thank you for raising awareness on this medical disorder as it is more common and real than we think.

  • Wow! This is very informative! I learned a lot from this, it’s good to enlighten people in this kind of things!

  • Olufunke Kolapo -

    I know about Leukemia but not as much as I have learnt in this article. It is quite informative.

  • yudithnapitupulu -

    Thanks for this article. I never know that leukemia has different types and symptoms. This is so helpfull article.

  • This is really great article and very details about Leukemia. You also informed about the treatments. Very informative article.

  • I really did not know much about leukemia before reading your post. It’s so detailed! There was a classmate I had as a child who had leukemia and it was such a mystifying experience for all of us around has as kids. Thanks for just an important and informative post.

  • Emman Damian -

    I know leukemia so well. I lost my grandmother with leukemia. She initially survived it. Great resource!

  • My mother in law had leukemia and lived well into her 70s until it took her life. This was informative to help one understand the scientific side of the disease.

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