What is leukemia?
Leukemia is a deadly disease in which the making of the white blood cells get out of control. It is sometimes called cancer of the blood. It was arisen from the malignant transformation of hematopoietic (blood-forming) cells. The latter multiplies endlessly, becoming very high in number, and invades the bone marrow and other organs e.g.; spleen, liver, lungs, and at times, the brain. White blood cells are made in the bone marrow and lymph glands. Certain kind of white cells fights infection in the body. The cancerous cells prevent healthy cells from increasing and doing their respective function in organs.
Causes of leukemia
In leukemia, the body’s blood-making organs produce millions of abnormal, useless white cells and not enough red or white cells. As a result, people with this condition are anemic and have low resistance to infection. They bruise and bleed easily.
Leukemia cannot be treated with chemotherapy alone. Recent advances in bone marrow transplantation have meant that a cure could be achieved for the most of patients with leukemia who had a full matched sibling donor. Novel stem cell sources e.g. matched unrelated donors; cord blood stem cells and fetal liver stem cells are being explored.
Specified type of leukemia
|Hairy cell leukemia|
|Chronic Myelogenous leukemia|
|Chronic lymphocytic leukemia|