To put it briefly, leukemia is blood or bone marrow cancer. A person suffering from leukemia is generally subject to abnormal blood cell production. These blood cells are mostly made up of leukocytes (white blood cells).
Most people confuse leukemia and lymphoma. Leukemia is a type of blood cancer; Lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system, the lymph nodes. Leukemia, aima, which means “white” and from Greek leuko and “blood”, has taken its place as a medical term.
In this disease, immature blood cells, especially the DNA of white cells, are somehow damaged. This abnormality causes blood cells to grow and divide with this growth. After this event, healthy blood cells die after a while and are replaced by new cells made of bone marrow. Although abnormal blood cells take up more space, they do not die when needed, and thus accumulation occurs. When many more cancer cells are produced, the functions and functions of healthy white blood cells are blocked by closing the gaps in the blood. In short, bad cells prevent good cells from working. In the content of the article we will tell:
Signs and symptoms of leukemia disease
What are the risk factors
What are the types of leukemia
How is the treatment of the disease
Quick facts about leukemia
There are some important points about leukemia. Let’s talk about these important points.
According to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Association records, 60,140 people were diagnosed with leukemia in 2016.
Although leukemia disease is among the most common childhood cancers, it is mostly seen in older adults.
With leukemia treatment, the disease and its symptoms can usually be kept under control.
Leukemia Symptoms And Symptoms
Since people with the disease have a significant deterioration in platelets, which is of great importance for blood clotting, the patient can easily see a bruise or blood clot. Also, red purple spots may occur on the body. White blood cells, which have a very important role in fighting the infection in the affected immune system, cannot perform their duties well enough. Therefore, the patient may frequently be exposed to infections, or the body’s immune system may become aggressive and attack against other body cells.
As the deficiency of benign red blood cells grows in the future, the patient may experience anemia and may be affected by it. This disease can cause difficult or difficult breathing, namely shortness of breath and pallor (having a pale color due to illness).
Patients may experience nausea, chills, fever, flu-like symptoms, night sweats, bone pain, weight loss, and fatigue, as well as the above-mentioned symptoms. Weight loss can occur as hepatomegaly (independent of liver growth) or splenomegaly (independent of spleen growth). Headaches can be seen. This is very common after cancerous cells invade CNS, the central nervous system.
All these symptoms mentioned above can also be caused by other diseases. Therefore, testing is required for a definitive diagnosis. Results can be confirmed after medical tests.
What are the Risk Factors in Leukemia Disease
Some people have a higher risk of developing leukemia than others. The risk factors that can cause this situation are listed below.
Benzene and some petrochemicals
Exposure to artificial ionizing radiation
Although rare, Maternal fetal transmission
HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) disease
Having HTLV-1 (human T-lymphotropic virus) disease
Genetic predisposition – Some researchers who have been investigating individuals’ family history and especially looking at twins have concluded that a number of people have a higher risk of developing leukemia due to a single gene or multiple genes.
Down syndrome – People with Down syndrome are more likely to get leukemia than people without Down syndrome, so some people who are abnormal with some chromosomes are at higher risk.
Electromagnetic energy studies performed do not provide sufficient evidence that existing ELF magnetic (non-electrical) fields can cause leukemia disease. IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) said that the studies showing that it poses a risk are biased and unreliable.
Leukemia and bone marrow function
The bone marrow is located inside the bones. It produces bone marrow blood cells in the bone and in the large bones of adults. Compared to our body weight, approximately 4 percent of our total body weight consists of bone marrow. There are two types of bone marrow;
The red bone marrow consists largely of myeloid tissue. The yellow bone marrow is largely made up of fat cells.
what is leukemia
Leukemia and bone marrow function
It is located in flat bones such as red bone marrow, shoulder blades, chest, hip bone, vertebrae, skull, and ribs. It can also be found at the ends of long bones such as Red bone marrow, humerus and femur. White blood cells known as lymphocytes, red blood cells and platelets are produced in this Red bone marrow.White blood cells fight diseases. Platelets in the blood are essential for blood clotting. The yellow bone marrow is located inside the middle part of the long bones. The plasma contains red blood cells, white blood cells, as well as platelets. Blood plasma is the liquid component that contains blood cells.
Types of leukemia
Experts divide leukemia disease into four large groups. These groups are classified as acute, chronic, lymphocytic and myelogen.
Chronic and acute leukemia
There are several stages of maturation in the life of a white blood cell. Acute leukemia disease is a disease that occurs as a result of the accumulation of cells that have not matured in the bone marrow or blood, but also do not work. Chronic leukemia progresses more slowly and gives time to make more mature, useful cells.
Lymphocytic and myelogenic leukemia
Leukemias are also distinguished in terms of separation according to the affected blood cell types. If cancerous transformation occurs in the bone marrow that forms lymphocytes, this disease is called lymphocytic leukemia. Lymphocyte is called the white blood cell in the vertebral immune system. If the change due to cancer occurs in bone marrow cells that produce red blood cells, other white cells, or platelet varieties, the disease is called myelogen leukemia.
Acute lymphocytic leukemia
It is known as acute lymphoblastic leukemia disease. It is also found in adults, especially in children over 65 years of age. This is even the most common type of leukemia among young children.
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)
Although this disease is seen at most 55 years and older among adults, younger adults can also be encountered. Chronic leukemia is the most common form of leukemia seen in adulthood. Chronic lymphocytic leukemia is almost never seen in children
Acute myelogenic leukemia (AML)
AML disease is more common in adults than in children. Such patients are tried to be treated with chemotherapy.
Chronic Myelogen Leukemia (KML)
The majority of KML patients are adult individuals. Many people with KML have a gene mutation called Gleevec that responds to the cancer disease treatment it is caught with. Gleevec (imatinib) is used much more widely in the treatment of CML, as well as some other drugs used in cancer. For people who are sensitive to Gleevec among cancer patients, the survival rate can reach as high as 90 percent.
Treatments for Leukemia Disease
While people are affected in different ways depending on the type of leukemia, their treatment depends on the type of leukemia. The type of treatment to be applied varies according to the age of the patient and the state of health. In order to achieve the most effective treatment, the patient needs to be in a center where he lives with doctors and is well-equipped with treatment. As the treatment is carried out at a certain stage, it is determined whether the goal is approached. This type of cancer should be followed for at least five years after starting treatment and should be tried to terminate during this period.
Acute leukemia treatments
Treatment in patients with acute leukemia should begin as soon as possible without delay. The main basis of the treatment to be applied is chemotherapy, which is still being performed and will be adapted according to the type of cancer the patient has. Chemotherapy used in treatment can be given in three stages: These are;
In some cases, bone transplantation provides treatment (allogeneic stem cell transplantation).
Chronic leukemia treatments
Treatment of chronic leukemia requires specialist treatment, which requires sufficient knowledge of the type of cancer a person is caught with, as well as at what stage. Types of treatment;
includes stem cell transplant.
The treatment to be applied differs from chemotherapy because cancer in this disease attacks a specific part of the cell.
In some cases of CLL, it may be thought that the treatment to be performed is not necessary in the early stages. Instead, frequent observation of the condition by an oncologist will be the stage before proceeding to treatment. Bone marrow transplant is the most basic and even the only way to cure a patient with Kml disease. The younger the patient for this transplant, the greater the success rate.
Leukemia prognosis and life expectancy
Patients suffering from leukemia should be regularly checked by doctors because of these events, even if they are treated. They should be tested at certain times