Leukemia

Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle

Introduction: What is Leukemia?

1. Leukemia is a type of cancer that is located in some of the body’s tissues such as bone marrow and the lymphatic system.

2. Leukemia commonly takes place in the white blood cells which help fight infections and diseases.

3.When a person has leukemia, their bone marrow produces white blood cells that don’t properly function.

What Causes Leukemia?

4. Scientists have not found an exact cause for leukemia. It is theorized that it develops from certain combinations of genetic and environmental factors.

Who Gets Leukemia?

5. Leukemia, like most other cancers, can be diagnosed in anyone.

6. There are certain factors that can increase one’s chance of getting it though.

7. Leukemia is not genetic, however, if there have been multiple people in one’s family that had this type of cancer, their risk of getting leukemia is increased.

There are multiple types of leukemia; some are more common in adults while others are common in children. The same goes for the likelihood of either gender having leukemia. It is diagnosed mostly in adults over fifty-five. Leukemia is more common for people that have been treated for other cancers because they have been exposed to radiation and people who smoke.

Symptoms

  • fever

  • chills

  • sweating a lot (especially at night)

  • common fatigue

  • weakness

  • persistent or severe infections

  • swollen or bleeding gums

  • weight loss (without trying)

  • swollen lymph nodes or tonsils

  • enlarged liver or spleen

  • easy bruising or bleeding

  • headaches

  • frequent nosebleeds

  • small red spots on skin (petechiae)

  • paleness

  • bone pain or tenderness

How is Leukemia Diagnosed?

8. A doctor will take a complete blood count to see if a person has leukemia cells.

They will also look for an unusual amount of white and red blood cells. If the test was proven positive, the doctor will then perform a biopsy of the bone marrow to find out what type of leukemia the patient has. The type of leukemia depends on the type of blood cell that becomes cancerous (white or red).

What is the Treatment?

9. The treatment for leukemia varies depending on the age of the patient, their general health and the type of leukemia they have. Treatments could be chemotherapy, biological therapy, radiation therapy and stem cell transplantation.

What You Can Do If You Have Leukemia?

  1. If you think you may have leukemia, based on recurring symptoms, contact your doctor as they may be able to help.

  2. If you take any medications and you have leukemia, tell your doctor at your next appointment because it may have an effect on your cancer journey.

  3. Take normal health precautions, like washing your hands often, since some leukemias affect your immune system making it difficult to recover from any other sicknesses.

  4. Try to maintain your weight because you’ll likely handle treatments better.

  5. Make a diet that fits your needs. This diet shouldn’t cause any symptoms of leukemia to occur or side effects of treatment like nausea and loss of appetite.

Can Leukemia Be Cured?

Certain types of leukemia, like acute leukemia, can be cured with treatment while others, like chronic leukemia, are unlikely to be cured.

Is Leukemia Fatal?

Yes, a person diagnosed with leukemia may die.

What is the Future of Leukemia?

10. Research is being collected on how leukemia is caused so we can come closer to a way to prevent getting it as a whole.

Citations

"Leukemia." Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, n.d. Web. 11 June 2015.


"Leukemia." Hematology. American Society of Hematology, 2015. Web. 11 June 2015.


"Leukemia." Cancer. National Cancer Institute, n.d. Web. 11 June 2015.


Suszynski, Marie. "The Optimal Leukemia Diet." Everyday Health. Everyday Health Media, n.d. Web. 11 June 2015.


"Leukemia." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 12 June 2015.


Staples, Allegra. "Stanford Scientists Reprogram Dangerous Cancer Cells To Immune Cells." DOGOnews. DOGO Media, n.d. Web. 12 June 2015.

By Paige Castelhano

C2

Friday, June 12, 2015