What is Leukemia?
Leukemia is a disease that is considered to be life-threatening. It requires prompt intervention when discovered, in order to maximize the chances of recovering through specific treatment and therapy. Leukemia is basically a type of cancer of the bone marrow and blood, caused by inappropriate cellular activity. The disease can be of different forms, according to the types of blood cells that cause its development. Also, if leukemia is developing rapidly, it is called acute leukemia, while if the disease is developing slowly, it is referred to as chronic leukemia.
Leukemia is cancer that starts in the blood-forming tissue of the body, like the bone marrow. This year, it is estimated that there will be another 44,270 cases of leukemia diagnosed and about 21,700 deaths caused by it. That's too many. One is too many, but these figures are way, way down from what they were only a few years ago. There was a time when a diagnosis of leukemia was a certain death sentence; but that is no longer the case, and the numbers are improving every year. The bone marrow in people who have the disease produces abnormal white blood cells. In the beginning, they function and behave almost normally, but eventually they start to crowd out normal white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets.
Studies indicate that leukemia is not inherited nor is it contagious. Several factors are suspected, although scientists have been unable to pinpoint the exact cause. No specific sets of preventions are available for leukemia. However, on analyzing the factors that generally cause leukemia a rough and general idea on the prevention of the disease can be made. Amongst newborn babies breast milk has shown properties that help in preventing occurrences of leukemia. Statistics have shown that mothers who breast-feed their babies for even one month lower their risk of leukemia by 20%. The factors that cause leukemia are numerous. Continuous exposure to high-level x-ray radiation increases susceptibility for leukemia development.
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).
Leukemia severely affects a person's immune system; the disease is characterized by low levels of leukocytes of white blood cells, which play an important role in the body's defenses against disease. This disease can lead to other complications such as infections. However, for people who already have compromised immune systems, such as children and the elderly, developing leukemia can have some severe effects and complications. For children, the effects of leukemia can be very pronounced because battling the disease can take a toll on their fragile bodies.