Chronic Leukemia – A Less Dangerous Cancer, But Harder To Treat

Leukemia is a dangerous form of cancer, and it affects thousands of people every year. It affects the white blood cells. The body loses control of the quantity and quality of blood cells, and it becomes very vulnerable because the white blood cells are supposed to protect our organism against infections. There are two main types of leukemia – acute leukemia and chronic leukemia. Acute leukemia is more dangerous because it spreads much faster, but chronic leukemia can be tricky because it has almost no symptoms.

The first organ that is affected by chronic leukemia is the bone marrow. The bone marrow is a tissue that can be found on some of the main bones in the body and that has the role of producing blood cells (red blood cells and white blood cells).

White blood cells are the guardians of the body. They can be found anywhere in the blood and they attack and neutralize any type of bacteria that enters the body and that can be harmful.

When a patient has chronic leukemia, the white blood cells from his blood are deffective and they are continuously created. A normal person should have less then 10000 white blood cells white a person with leukemia can have more than 100000, but although there are so many the protection against infections is decreased because most of the cells are malfunctioning.

A particularity of chronic leukemia is that patients who have it also have a lower number of red blood cells.

The causes of all types of leukemia are unknown, doctors cannot determine why some people have this illness and other don’t. Though, scientists discovered some factors that increase the risks of becoming ill of leukemia. Among these factors radiations play an important role, many that were exposed to radiations were soon diagnosed with leukemia. Also, a malfunction in the genes can cause the blood cells to transform, so it can have a genetic cause. The causes and risk factors are still being researched.

The bad thing about chronic leukemia is that it usually shows no symptoms that can give he patient an idea about his condition. It’s often discovered during routine lab tests. Some of those suffering from chronic leukemia reported having a general state of weakness and fatigue. As the disease advances blood can start to come out of the nose or of the gums for no reason, and because the organism is weakened and its defense is lowered, leukemia patients can be vruised very easy, and they are often infected with foreign microorganism.

Chronic leukemia treatment depends on each patient. After the diagnose a series of tests are made to determine which therapy the patient responds to. Chemotherapy is used in most situations. The number of people that are cured of chronic leukemia is increasing as time passes, but a there is a notable number of victims too.

New drugs and cures keep being researched by doctors and scientists and the survival rate is rising, so maybe in the near future chronic leukemia will be musc easier to treat.

Symptoms and Signs of Leukemia

A sign can be defined as something that can be recognized and observed by a healthcare professional or a doctor. A symptom on the other hand is something that can be recognized by the person who is experiencing it. These symptoms and signs of leukemia can also be caused by various other chronic health conditions. Thus it is extremely important to always have an unusual check for symptoms from a good doctor. Acute leukemia has symptoms and signs that may be similar to the flu and can come on suddenly within a few weeks or days. On the other hand chronic leukemia has symptoms that can gradually develop and people will then complain that they do not feel very well. This disease is discovered when a routine blood test is done.

Rare symptoms and signs

The rare symptoms and signs of leukemia are as follows.

• Choroma

This is a tumor like collection that consists of leukemia cells and it is present under the skin and or other parts of the body.

• Skin changes

Leukemia cutis can occur when the cells of leukemia cell enter the skin. The patches and sores can be of any particular size and are usually tan or pink in color.

Leukocytoclastic vasculitis can resemble a very allergic reaction on the skin of the person suffering. The sores can usually appear on the hands and also feet.

The sweet’s syndrome includes painful sores and fever that can appear anywhere on the patient’s body.

Blood count

A complete blood count must be done in order to measure the quality and number of the white blood cells, platelets and red blood cells. The leukemia is mostly suspected when the cell counts of the blood are abnormal and the blood cells are not looking very normal. The abnormal blood cell counts may be due to various other conditions and can be extremely abnormal. These abnormal blood counts may be due to various other conditions and leukemia. The blasts may not exactly occur normally in the blood so the leukemia is suspected if the blasts are present. It is one of the important things to remember.

Acute leukemia

The white blood cells will be low, high or normal. The blast cells can also be present in the blood of people who have acute leukemia.

Chronic leukemia

In a chronic condition the white blood cell count is extremely high. The platelet count can also be low and anemia.

Childhood Cancer Diagnosis – What Next?

There you stand, either in the pediatrician’s office or the emergency room, receiving the most horrific news imaginable that being the news that your child has a life threatening disease.

As most doctors do they tell you they are going to give you and your family a moment to digest what you have just been told. As you then look upon your child, who is looking up at you, confused and scared, you are hit with a barrage of questions. Why, how, and what next?

After the doctors have concluded the seemingly endless barrage of tests on your child, he/she and the rest of the medical staff give you the infamous “road map.” This road map is supposed to tell you how your child will be treated depending on their disease and the severity of said disease. Often this road map leaves you with more questions than answers.

Then your child is finally released from the hospital and sent home to await your next visit to the surgical room, infusion center, and clinic for labs or wherever your chemotherapy and/or radiation treatments are conducted. It is this down time that a familiar question comes floating back into your mind…. What next?

What next? Information gathering, entrust your child to the doctor, pray to God? It is imperative to learn as much about your child’s illness as possible. Learn the affects, side effects, pros and cons of each drug used. Do not be afraid to question everything the medical staff is doing. If it doesn’t make sense, ask for explanations, clarification and reconfirm with other medical staff. Do not overlook your parental instincts after all, you know your child the best and do not allow someone else to tell you otherwise. At first they may try to back you down or appease you and may even try to confuse you with medical jargon, but soon they will realize that you are not the kind of parent that sits on the sidelines and gives the doctors carte blanche in the faith and trust department. It is only through this vigilance that your child will receive the best treatment possible. You must be your child’s patient advocate.