Leukemia is a form of cancer in blood stem cells. Stem cells are cells that develop into different types of cells overtime.
One of the cells they develop into are called lymphoid stem cells which are a type of white blood cell. These cells help fight infection and destroy abnormal cells. There are three different types of lymphoid cells. These include B cells, T cells, and natural killer (NK) cells. Another type of cell they develop into are called Myeloid stem cells which then develop onto red blood cells, granulocytes, monocytes, or platelets. These cells all have different tasks in the circulatory system.
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There are four main types of leukemia, these include: acute myeloid leukemia (AML), chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Some common symptoms of leukemia include fever or chills, easily bleeding or bruising, tiny red spots on your skin, recurrent nosebleeds, and much more. Leukemia symptoms are very vague and many of these symptoms apply to more then one disease. Some symptoms are also very similar to those of a flu.
Men are more likely then women to develop CML, CLL, and AML. For all types of leukemia except for ALL, the chances of getting leukemia increases as you get older. Leukemia does not run in families for the most part, but if someone has down syndrome or similar genetic abnormalities, this may increase their chances of developing leukemia. Some other factors that may increase the chances of getting leukemia include smoking, being in areas with high radiation levels and exposure to chemicals. Leukemia, along with the type of leukemia the patient has is detected by a needle biopsy along with a bone marrow test. A doctor may suspect that a patient has leukemia from an abnormal white blood cell count in a blood test. This would lead a doctor to perform one of these tests.
Leukemia can be treated by chemotherapy. Also, some patients with AML may need an allogeneic stem cell transplant. The survival rates for leukemia have dramatically increased over the years. There is a 65.9 percent of surviving CML, 85.
1 percent chance for CLL, 26.8 percent chance for AML, and 70.7 percent chance for ALL. There are many different research projects that are going on in hopes to increase the prognosis of leukemia for the future generations to come.