Leukemia is a malignant disease affecting blood formation. There are many types of leukemia; some due to their progressive nature rapidly lead to a severe life-threatening condition. In practice, the diagnosis is often determined accidentally as symptoms may be absent for a long time. Due to increasingly effective methods of treatment and a timely detection of potential symptoms, the mortality rates of leukemia are relatively low.
About the disease
Leukemia is a group of diseases affecting blood and bone marrow and manifested by genetic changes to white blood cells essential to the immune system. Multiplying cancer cells oppress healthy cells that are unable to defend, resulting in the immune deficiency.
Causes of various leukemia types have not been fully understood; so they cannot be entirely prevented. Some leukemia types are ethnicity-dependent (e.g. chronic lymphocytic leukemia is more common in Caucasians), while others are associated with a location or wealth of a region (acute lymphocytic leukemia in children occurs in developed countries). Some leukemias may be induced by radiation or chemical substances such as chemotherapy.
Signs and symptoms
Leukemia manifests differently, the most significant are enlarged lymph nodes and organs (particularly liver and spleen), reduced immunity, increased susceptibility to infections and loss of blood cells (white and red blood cells and platelets). The loss of red blood cells results in anaemia, fatigue, shortness of breath, vertigo, tinnitus or palpitations; the loss of platelets is often associated with a tendency to bruises, minor bleeding into the skin (petechiae), nose and gum bleeds. Patients often have fever, flu-like symptoms, night sweats, weight loss or the right upper quadrant pain.
Unfortunately, it is impossible to prevent the disease 100%; but its onset may be influenced by excess stress, smoking, unhealthy diet and inadequate exercise. Therefore, healthy lifestyle is strongly recommended including the support of the body’s immunity.
Studies - oncological diseases
Types of cancer
Liver cancer, Brain cancer, Hodgkin´s lymphoma, Cervical cancer, Kidney cancer, Leukemia, Lung cancer, Skin cancer, Uterine cancer, Prostate cancer, Breast cancer, Pancreatic cancer, Colon cancer, Bladder cancer, Ovarian cancer, Testicular cancer, Stomach cancer