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3 Essential Facts About Leukemia

by Tatiana Plesco

Advances in cure options have turned some forms of these once-deadly blood cancers into controllable chronic conditions. Here are what you essential to know about leukemia.

There are three types of leukemia, all of which affect the bone marrow or blood.

Leukemia is the sun umbrella term for four different kinds of cancer of the bone marrow and body fluid cells. In 2015, an estimated 54,270 folks in the United States will be diagnosed with the ailment, according to the American Cancer The social order. And more than 327,000 live with or are in a reduction from it, according to measurements from the Leukemia & Lymphoma the social order.

We spoke to Hagop M. Kantarjian, MD, professor, and chair of the section of leukemia at the Institution of higher education of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston; and to Frederick Lansigan, MD, a hematologist-oncologist, and inpatient therapeutic director of cancer facilities at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medicinal Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire. Both services are National Cancer Institute-Designated Cancer Centers. Here are 3 essential facts about leukemia that you should know.

  • Leukemia starts in the jawbone marrow. Our bodies make most of our body fluid cells — from the infection-fighting white body fluid cells to the oxygen-transporting red body fluid cells, to the clot-preventing platelets — in the bone marrow. All body fluid cells start out as unspecified, or not fully formed, cells, and in the long run mature into the “mature” kind that helps us stay fit. But in people with acute leukemia, the body fluid cells don’t normally progress past the “not fully formed” phase. And in folks with chronic leukemia, those cells do growth past the “not fully formed” stage, but can be overwhelmed by other, unusual, mature cells. In both cancers, the abnormal body fluid cells then crowd out the healthy kinds, not only in the jawbone marrow itself but in the bloodstream and other portions of the immune system, too.

  • The specific types of leukemia depend on which type of body fluid cell has become cancerous. In ALL, for a sample, the lymphoblasts, which are not fully formed white body fluid cells, are affected. In CML, kinds of blood cells called granulocytes are affected.
  • Some forms of leukemia progress quicker than others. Acute leukemias (AML and ALL) are rapid-growing cancers in which the jawbone marrow cannot produce enough in good physical shape body fluid cells. But chronic forms of the sickness (CML and CLL) progress more slowly — oftentimes, folks with these conditions have enough mature body fluid cells to partly uphold their immune system’s health.

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