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Leukemia is cancer of the white blood cells. White blood cells help your body fight infection. Your blood cells form in your bone marrow. In leukemia, the bone marrow produces abnormal white blood cells. These cells crowd out the healthy blood cells, making it hard for blood to do its work.

There are different types of leukemia, including

Leukemia can develop quickly or slowly. Chronic leukemia grows slowly. In acute leukemia, the cells are very abnormal and their number increases rapidly. Adults can get either type; children with leukemia most often have an acute type. Some leukemias can often be cured. Other types are hard to cure, but you can often control them. Treatments may include chemotherapy, radiation and stem cell transplantation. Even if symptoms disappear, you might need therapy to prevent a relapse.

NIH: National Cancer Institute

Symptoms of Leukemia

The following features are indicative of Leukemia:
  • fever
  • chills
  • persistent fatigue
  • severe infections
  • swollen lymph nodes
  • bruising
  • losing weight without trying
  • recurrent nose bleeds
  • petechiae
  • bone pain
  • excessive sweating
It is possible that Leukemia shows no physical symptoms and still be present in a patient.
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Common Causes of Leukemia

The following are the most common causes of Leukemia:
  • genetic factor
  • non-ionizing radiation
  • radiation therapy
  • environmental factors

Risk Factors for Leukemia

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Leukemia:
  • exposure to harmful chemicals
  • smoking
  • family history of leukemia
  • genetic disorders
  • previous cancer treatment

Prevention of Leukemia

No, it is not possible to prevent Leukemia.
  • unknown cause

Occurrence of Leukemia

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Leukemia cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Widely occurring between 500K - 1 Million cases

Common Age Group

Leukemia can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Leukemia can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Leukemia

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Leukemia:
  • Physical exam: To examine the physical signs of leukemia
  • Blood tests: To evaluate the abnormal levels of white blood cells or platelets
  • Bone marrow test: To determine the cause of low or high blood cell counts

Doctor for Diagnosis of Leukemia

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Leukemia:
  • Hematologist
  • Oncologist

Complications of Leukemia if untreated

Yes, Leukemia causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Leukemia is left untreated:
  • can be fatal

Procedures for Treatment of Leukemia

The following procedures are used to treat Leukemia:
  • Chemotherapy: To destroy the leukemia cells
  • Biological therapy: Helps your immune system recognize and attack leukemia cells
  • Targeted therapy: Damage specific vulnerabilities within your cancer cells
  • Radiation therapy:Kills leukemia cells and stop their growth
  • Stem cell transplant: Replaces your diseased bone marrow with healthy bone marrow

Self-care for Leukemia

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Leukemia:
  • Improve nutritional requirements

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Leukemia

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Leukemia:
  • Acupuncture therapy: To release the blocked energy, thereby restoring health
  • Physical fitness with regular exercise: Lowers the side effects of cancer treatments and may prolong survival
  • Massage and reflexology therapy: Lowers the symptoms of pain, nausea, fatigue, anxiety and insomnia

Patient Support for Treatment of Leukemia

The following actions may help Leukemia patients:
  • Learn enough about leukemia: Helps you in becoming more confident thus helps in making treatment decisions
  • Keeping your close relationships strong: Helps you in facing leukemia
  • Find someone to talk with: Helps you to talk about your hopes and fears

Time for Treatment of Leukemia

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Leukemia to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • Disease cannot be treated but only maintained or effects reduced

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Leukemia.

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