deadly blood

Leukemia is a type of cancer that starts in bone marrow

It causes abnormally high amounts of red, white, or platelet blood cells to be formed that do not perform their job.
What is leukemia?



Scientists don't understand the exact causes of leukemia. It seems to develop from a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Acute lymphatic leukemia does not appear to be an inherited disease. It does not seem to run in families, so a person's risk is not increased if a family member has the disease. But there are some inherited syndromes with genetic changes that seem to raise the risk of ALL. There is no known way to prevent most types of leukemia. Some types of leukemia may be prevented by avoiding high doses of radiation, exposure to the chemical benzene, smoking and other tobacco use, or some types of chemotherapy used to treat other types of cancer.


The goal of treatment for leukemia is to destroy the leukemia cells and allow normal cells to form in your bone marrow. Treatment decisions are based on the kind of leukemia, its stage, and age and general health.


Through a physical exam, a doctor will look for physical signs of leukemia, such as pale skin from anemia and swelling of your lymph nodes, liver and spleen. Blood tests can also be used to determine if someone has leukemia. By looking at a sample of your blood, your doctor can determine if you have abnormal levels of white blood cells or platelets, which may suggest leukemia.

Frequency in Population

It is the most common type of cancer in children, with three quarters of leukemia cases in children being ALL. However, about 90% of all leukemia are diagnosed in adults, with AML and CLL being most common in adults.