The begging of leukemia happens in the bone marrow. Healthy bone marrow has the platelets, red and white blood cells, and when leukemia begins, white blood cells number changes and cells called leukemia cells, which are improper white blood cells, are created. They grow very quickly and do not stop growing as they are supposed to. Problems like infection, bleeding and anemia can occur when the number of these cells becomes overwhelming.
There are several types of white cells. Leukemia can be divided by the white cells affected and the time needed for problem to become serious. Acute lymphoblastic leukemia usually affects children, while acute myelogenous leukemia can be developed in adults and children. Some other types are chronic myelogenous and chronic lymphocytic leukemia, both affecting adults, and rarely children. We have stated how we divide types of leukemia. Chronic type grows very slowly, while acute becomes serious very quickly. Myelogenous affect myelocytes and lymphocytic affects lymphocytes, which are types of white blood cells.
Causes and symptoms
The exact cause hasn't been discovered yet, but there are some activities which may affect the creation of leukemia. They are chemotherapy, exposure to radiation, some chemicals, Down syndrome and smoking. Problems which every leukemia patient faces are many infections, headaches, bleeding, joint pain, tiredness, bone pain, bruising, fever, swollen lymph nodes, weight loss, night sweats and loss of appetite.
It is extremely difficult for a human body to combat with the many infections which are developed. As we have mentioned, leukemia is a condition in which white blood cells, which are abnormal, are great in number, and their number causes problems in the bone marrow, liver, lymph nodes and spleen. While red cells are responsible for oxygen supply, white blood cells will combat with the leukemia cells. Problems like bleeding, infections and easy bruising are some of the problems created by the number of abnormal white cells. Problem of leukemia can occur after chemotherapy or radiation. It is very difficult to discuss about the rate of survival, but we can say that the survival depends on the type of leukemia. Remember that almost every case is different and the problem cannot be always the same. Thus, the results do not have to be similar. We will mention a few facts related to the percentage of people who have survived after a period of five years: acute myelogenous leukemia has 75 % surviving chance for young people, while the number for adults varies from 5 to 10 %. Chronic lymphocytic leukemia has 75 %, while chronic myelogenous has 70 % chances to survive. But the survival rates depend on many things.