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Join date : 2011-08-26

PostSubject: Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia   Tue Aug 30, 2011 5:20 am

Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia

Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia

Leukemia facts
What is leukemia?
What are the types of leukemia?
Who is at risk for leukemia?
What are symptoms of leukemia?
How is leukemia diagnosed?
How is leukemia treated?
How does someone get a second opinion about leukemia treatment?
What happens after treatment for leukemia?
What research is being done for leukemia?
What resources are available to patients with leukemia?
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Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML) Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Medical Author: Benjamin C. Wedro, MD, FAAEM
Medical Editor: William C. Shiel, Jr., FACP, FACR

Pro athletes often seem to know their bodies, and notice bodily changes early when something isn't quite right. This intuition may have led Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to seek medical help when he started to get hot flashes and night sweats last fall. Many people may have ignored these symptoms and sloughed them off as unimportant. Hot flashes may be normal for women in menopause, but not for a male basketball legend. Mr. Abdul-Jabbar's symptoms led to an early diagnosis of chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML).

What causes chronic myelogenous leukemia?

Chronic myelogenous leukemia is a rare type of leukemia that tends to affect older males. More than 90% of cases are due to a gene abnormality caused when two chromosomes swap sections with each other. There are 23 chromosomes in humans, and in patients with chronic myelogenous leukemia chromosomes 9 and 22 within blood cells exchange bits of genetic material to form a Philadelphia chromosome, named after the city where it was discovered. The new gene on this chromosome makes a protein called tyrosine kinase that allows white blood cells to grow out of control; moreover, these abnormal white blood cells tend not to become old and die. The bone marrow, where red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets are made, becomes filled with white blood cells crowding out the normal cells and damaging the bone marrow itself. This can impair the ability of the bone marrow to manufacture normal amounts of blood cells.

Read more about chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) causes, symptoms, and treatment ยป

Leukemia facts

Leukemia is a cancer of the blood cells.

While the exact cause(s) of leukemia is not known, risk factors have been identified.

Leukemias are grouped by how quickly the disease develops (acute or chronic) as well as by the type of blood cell that is affected (lymphocytes or myelocytes). The four main types of leukemia include acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), acute myelocytic leukemia (AML), and chronic myelocytic leukemia (CML).

People with leukemia are at significantly increased risk for developing infections, anemia, and bleeding. Other symptoms and signs include easy bruising, weight loss, night sweats, and unexplained fevers.

The diagnosis of leukemia is supported by findings of the medical history and examination, and examining blood and bone marrow samples under a microscope.

Treatment of leukemia depends on the type of leukemia, certain features of the leukemia cells, the extent of the disease, and prior history of treatment, as well as the age and health of the patient.

Most patients with leukemia are treated with chemotherapy. Some patients also may have radiation therapy and/or bone marrow transplantation.

There is no known way to prevent leukemia.

The prognosis of leukemia depends upon several factors, including the patient's age, the type of leukemia, and the extent to which the cancer has spread.
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