White blood cells are the cells in your body that fight infections and help the immune system. They usually grow, develop, and divide depending on when your body is in the need for them, but with this cancer, the bone marrow forms these white blood cells rapidly and abnormally, therefore they do not function properly.
Red blood cells are the cells that carry oxygen throughout the body. The white blood cells are the cells that fight off infections, and platelets help clot the blood. Our body produces billions of new blood cells everyday in the bone marrow-mainly, red blood cells.
Still today, we do not know exactly what causes this cancer, but there are many possibilities such as chromosome abnormalities. These abnormalities are also linked with a preleukemic disease called myelodysplasia. Environmental factors such as pollution, household products that contain chemicals with benzene and petroleum are considered to be the most likely causes for leukemia especially in children. A study examined hundreds of leukemia patients and the results of the study showed that your are at risk for ALL (acute lymphoblastic leukemia) when exposed to paint, especially with children.
In addition with environmental factors and abnormalities, exposure to high levels of radiation have a high risk of developing leukemia. Genetics is always a huge risk factor of developing leukemia. If a family member had it, that gene may increase your risk. Lastly, cancer therapy is a rare risk for developing this cancer, but there have bee cases. If people have has chemo or radiation therapy in their past due to another cancer, it is possible that leukemia may develop many years later, due to the exposure of radiation and chemo.
Symptoms vary from which type of leukemia a patient has. The signs and symptoms varies on the the amount of abnormal blood cells and where they are being collected. Many people overlook these symptoms because they are the same kinds of symptoms of the flu and other common colds, but if these symptoms are occurring frequently, then you should see you doctor.
When there is persistent fever, fatigue, bleeding, swollen lymph nodes, and weakness please see your family doctor to get tested. Again, many people overlook these symptoms, but when you have “that feeling” that something is not right, please seek for medical advice from a family doctor because it is better to be safe than sorry.
Most doctors will find leukemia in a simple blood test, but there are many other ways to detect for leukemia. A physical exam may not be the most accurate way to diagnose blood cancer, but it could help the doctor see the if you have any swelling in the liver and spleen area. When looking at blood tests results, we want to see if the patient has any abnormal levels of blood cells, especially the white blood cells. Immunophenotyping helps identify whether or not the patient has a very high number if lymphocytes in the blood. This test also help see the difference of which type of leukemia it may be. Cytogenetic analysis diagnose any abnormalities in the chromosomes. This is seen through a microscope. After doing all of these tests and your doctor suspects that it is leukemia, you will have to give a bone marrow sample, this test would most likely be taken by an oncologist. Here they use a needle to remove a little piece of your bone marrow to find leukemia cells.
In chronic leukemia, mature blood cells are replicating more slowly. Chronic leukemia sometimes shows no symptoms and this cancer may never be diagnosed until many years later. On the other hand, in acute leukemia, immature blood cells are replicating rapidly, so the condition of the patient gets more worse quicker than chronic leukemia.
Lymphocytic leukemia mainly affects the lymphocytes (lymphiod cells). These cells form in lymphatic tissue. This tissue is very important because it is the main component of the lymphatic system and found throughout the body.Myelogenous leukemia affects the myloid cells. These are the cells that later form into red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets.
AML is the most common type of blood cancer. This type occurs mainly in children and in adults. ALL is the most common type of blood cancer in young children. CLL is the leukemia that is common in most adults. This type does not affect children. CML also affects adults. This is the type that is linked with the abnormality of the chromosomes.
Things that may influence the decision on which treatment is necessarily needed, are based upon by whether or not the leukemia cells are present in the cerebrospinal fluid. Another influence may be if the patient has gotten treated for this cancer before. If a patient has already gotten treated for it before, you do not want to give them too much of a treatment. Another important influence is the features of the leukemia cells. Oncologists and hematologists have to study this so they can see which type of treatment could fight off the cancer cell, and which kind of treatment can not. Lastly, but certainly not least. It all also depends on the patient’s health and symptoms. You would not want to give a patient chemotherapy if they have been extremely weak and ill. This could make their condition worse.
Chemotherapy is a type of cancer treatment that uses drugs to kill the cancer cells. In our case, chemotherapy is using drugs to kill leukemia cells. Chemotherapy can be give to a person by mouth, injection into a vein, catheter, or injection into cerebrospinal fluid or into the spine, depending on which type of leukemia that patient is diagnosed with.
Radiation therapy uses high energy rays to kill the leukemia cells. A large machine is directed to the area of a body part at which the cancer cells have spread to. Although radiation therapy is an option for treatment, there are a few side effects. This treatment may cause the patient’s skin to become red and dry in some areas, but doctors will give alternative medications and etc to ease the side effects.
Bone marrow transplant replaces the abnormal stem cells to healthy normal stem cells. You may need to get this treatment done because of the leukemia is destroying your body very quickly or also maybe because the doses of the chemotherapy and radiation therapy were so high that it destroyed parts of your bone marrow. Bone marrow transplants are becoming more and more successful and survival rates of patients with leukemia have also increased.
Living with leukemia is a huge challenge. Many patients may get the right guidance and will join support groups or talk to counselors to help them get though with it, and others may lean more towards depression. They may be worried about financial hardships because of the hospital bills. They start to feel depressed, thinking they may not live much longer, and others may worry about their family and what would happen to them when they are no longer around.
The American Cancer Society is a community-based voluntary health organization dedicated to elimination cancer as a major health problem and saving lives. This society is one of the oldest and largest volunteer health agencies in the United States. It is a nonprofit cancer research fund in the United States. The American Cancer Society provides service and rehabilitation programs to patients and their families nationwide.
Each year about 2000 children in the United States are diagnosed with leukemia and about 29,000 adults are diagnosed. Cancer in general in children is rare, but childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia is the most common cancer in children. Acute lymphoblastic leukemia occurs 1 of every 29,000 children in the United States each year and acute myelogenous leukemia accounts for about 10,600 cases each year.
A few risk factors of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia may be if a child has a brother or sister with leukemia, if the race of the child is Caucasian of Hispanic, if they were exposed to x-ray or other types of radiation before birth or after birth, having a very weak immune system, or even having a genetic disorder such as down syndrome.
Symptoms of adults and children are very similar. A few symptoms that may occur to children that are suspected to having leukemia may be looking pale often, feeling very weak and tired all of the time. They may bleed and bruise very easily and frequently. They may have fever, , infections, fatigue and headaches often as well. If you see them with any lumps in a bluish/purplish color in the neck area, underarm area, or stomach or groin area, please take your child to a family physician immediately to get tested. This symptom is the most important sign to know whether or not a child has leukemia.
Stem Cell transplants are used only for some leukemia patients. This stem cell transplant allows a patient to be treated with doses (fairly high) of drugs, radiation, or even both. These doses of drugs will kill all of the leukemia cells, as well as normal cells in the bone marrow. Then the patient will receive stem cells through a flexible tube that has been placed in a vein of a beck or chest. The new blood cells will develop from the transplanted stem cells.
The latest European study says that patients with leukemia who have received stem cell transplants or bone marrow transplants survived longer. Ten years after transplantation about 49 percent of patents who were stem cell recipients and about 57 percent of bone marrow recipients are still alive. In patients with acute myeloid leukemia, the rates were 62 percent and for one marrow transplants and about 47 percent for PBSC transplant. This research states that patients would benefit more form transplantation with bone marrow.
Although the cause of leukemia is still unknown, we have figured out that people who have occupations with certain jobs that expose a chemical called Benzene have a very high risk of getting acute myelogenous leukemia. Some jobs with these risk factors are truck drivers, tanker men, shoe/leather workers, refinery workers, painters, newspaper press workers, gasoline distribution workers, and many other types of workers.
Even though there are a few treatments available for treating leukemia, there are also side effects to understand before getting treated. For chemo therapy there will be hair loss, a lot of nausea and vomiting along with weakness and in women their period will become very irregular or their periods may just stop overall. More side effects for chemo varies on the type of person and how much a person’s body can handle. For radiation therapy the side effects depend on where the beam of radiation hits. For example if the bean hit the head, then hair would fall out. There is also a lot of redness and itching of the skin and again there is a lot of weakness feelings as well. For both chemo therapy and these side effects may go away after some time.
Patients who have a blood and bone marrow transplant will face an increased risk of infection, bleeding, and other side effects with a large dose of chemo therapy and radiation therapy. Graft versus host disease (GCHD) may occur in patients who receive bone marrow from a donor . In Graft versus host disease, the donated marrow reacts against the patient’s tissue. GVHD can be mild to very severe and it can occur any time after the transplant. Drugs can be given to reduce the risk of GVHD. The one benefit of GVHD is that the graft attacks the leukemia itself and this side effect can actually help cure the patient.
After the completion of treatment the doctor will examine the patients once again, repeating with the same tests and will look for signs and symptoms of leukemia. They will also see how the treatment effected the patient's leukemia and whether or not the leukemia is in remission. Remission is when it looks like the cancer has left, but actually it is still there not doing any harm to the patient or showing any symptoms. If the patient is in remission, the doctor will watch the patient for signs that the leukemia is coming back.
The LookGood..Feel Better is a free nonmedical product-neutral program offered in partnership with the American Cancer Society, the National Cosmetology Association, and The Cosmetic Toiletry and Fragrance Association. This organization comes around a couple timesa year to cancer centers to make patients with cancer feel better by giving them a makeover. They put maekup on the ladies and give them new looks. Since patients get a little depressed due to hair los, weight loss, and their looks after cancer, these organization want to make them feel a little better about themselves and help them look and feel great.
Having a nice healthy balanced diet, enough sleep and rest throughout your day and exercising a couple time a week are a few of the many things you can do to make yourself healthier and stronger. This could help you from dramatic weight loss from all of the drug and treatments for cancer and it prepares your body to handle strong treatments and side effects.
After being diagnosed with cancer, it is very important that you talk about how you feel and “spill” out your emotions. Keeping it all inside may make your emotional state worse. Most people feel denial, anger and grief. These feelings are completely normal and it is okay to feel this way. Talking about your emotions and feelings will reduce stress and there is a less chance of a patient going through depression.
These are a few well known cancer centers that will treat and research on cancer in our area of Philadelphia. University of Pennsylvania Cancer Center does bone marrow and stem cell transplants and chemo and radiation treatments as well. There are many small cancer center throughout our area that give chemo and radiation treatments, but these are just a few of very large hospitals that also do surgeries and more serious and intense treatments.
Leukemia By: Dimple Patel
Thesis STATEMENT Though the cause of leukemia is still unknown, with new research and technology, many leukemia victims are surviving longer and are healthier than ever before.
What is leukemia? Leukemia is a type of cancer that occurs in blood forming tissues, such as the bone marrow and the lymphatic system. This cancer starts in the white blood cells The word “leuk” means white in Greek www.uiowa.edu/~cemrf/archive/sem/large/ Silverstein, Alvin, Virginia Silverstein, and Laura Silverstein Nunn.
General information The body has three different types of cells Red blood cells White Blood cells Platelets Red blood cells. http://www.flickr.com/photos/soulundone/3272901942/ (Silverstein)
Not known exactly Abnormal chromosomes Myelodysplasia Environmental factors Pollution Household chemicals Benzene and petroleum containing products “few studies have examined the association between home use of solvents and the risk of childhood leukemia.” Results: “ALL risk was significantly associated with paint exposure.” (Scelo, Ghislaine)( 133-139) Causes and Risk Factors
Causes Cont’d Exposure to radiation and certain chemicals Genetics Cancer therapy This is a rare and unfortunate risk , but it is certainly possible Scelo, 133-139.
Symptoms Fever and chills Frequent infections Loss of appetite Swollen lymph nodes Enlarged liver or spleen Shortness of breath Petechaie Tiny red spots on the skin Bruising and bleeding very easily Pain in the bones Lots of sweating, mainly at night. (Ball, Edward D, and Gregory A Lelek)
When to find medical advice When common symptoms start to show more frequently and do not go away May want to see your family doctor or oncologist (Ball, Edward D, and Gregory A Lelek)
Influences of Treatments Based on the type of leukemia Present in cerebrospinal fluid Treated before? Features of leukemia cells Patients symptoms and health (Ball, Edward D, and Gregory A Lelek)
Leukemia & chemotherapy Single drug or combination of two or more drugs Can be given by Mouth Injection into vein Catheter Inject directly into cerebrospinal fluid Inject straight into spine worldofcure.com (Silverstein)
Leukemia & radiation therapy Radiation therapy high energy rays kills cancer cells Large machine rays are directed at body part There are side effects to this treatment! (Silverstein) http://www.ottawahospital.on.ca/sc/cancer/img/linac2.jpg
Bone marrow transplant Replaces abnormal stem cells High doses of chemo and radiation destroy bone marrow http://www.adventisthealthcare.com/adam/graphics/images/en/12665.jpg Silverstein, Alvin, Virginia Silverstein, and Laura Silverstein Nunn.
Living With Leukemia Challenging Support groups Depression Financial tensions Worrying about family Apel
Support The American Cancer Society American Cancer Society
Children With Leukemia Each year about 2000 children in the United States are diagnosed with Leukemia. Two main types of leukemia in children Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML) (Insert picture here) Belson, Martin, Beverely Kingsley, and Adrianne Holmes.
Children with leukemia Cont’d Childhood (ALL) risk factors Sibling with leukemia Caucasian or Hispanic Exposed to radiation (Picture goes here) Belson, Martin, Beverely Kingsley, and Adrianne Holmes.