Leukemia is a disease of the blood cells. It is a form of cancer that is mostly found in children but there are also cases of adults developing leukemia. The blood cells are of three types; red blood cells, white blood cells and plasma cells. Red blood cells are used for transport of oxygen in the blood and white blood cells fight infections and build immunity. In a normal human being, the white blood cells are produced in the bone marrow and divide at a healthy rate. Leukemia causes the division of white blood cells to speed up and thus white blood cell levels become abnormally high.
Leukemia is a serious condition and a series of complex treatments is required to suppress the production of white blood cells. The condition once cured can also arise again and with more intensity. To fight leukemia an early diagnosis and proper treatment are essential. Following is an explanation of some of the symptoms of leukemia and treatment options. Visit or book a doctor online for further guidance.
Leukemia has different forms and symptoms may vary according to the type of leukemia. Some common signs that are experienced in all types of leukemia are as follows.
Immune responses: As mentioned earlier, leukemia is a disturbance of the immune system because of abnormal division of white blood cells, leukemia patients thus suffer from some immune responses such as high fever with shivering which are followed by heavy sweating.
Weakness: Leukemia patients are likely to experience abrupt weight loss. This weight loss brings with itself feelings of weakness and fatigued. In initial stages the patients are likely to complain about ‘always being tired’.
Infections: Infections are very common in leukemia patients as their immune system is heavily compromised.
Other: Other symptoms of leukemia include frequent nose bleeds and heavy bleeding in case of minor bruising. Aching bones and muscles is another symptom of leukemia.
Causes and types:
The exact cause of leukemia has not been known yet, but significant research has shown that it is a combination of environmental influences and genetics. It has been speculated that the abnormal division of white blood cells starts from a single cell whose DNA has been mutated due to some environmental reason such as exposure to radiation. Cell mutations can also be inherited from parents; thus, a family history of leukemia makes one vulnerable too.
Leukemia can be divided into two broad types known as acute and chronic leukemia. Acute leukemia spreads very rapidly because of fast cell division and the new cells are pre-mature and non-functional which makes matters worse. Chronic leukemia on the other hand may involve an abnormally high or slow rate of cell division and thus the rate of spread varies for different patients.
Leukemia is a painful and complex condition which can become fatal if not cured effectively. Some treatment approaches are as follows.
- Chemotherapy is a popular method for the treatment of leukemia.
- A bone marrow transplant may be performed to replace damaged bone marrow in some cases.
- Radiation therapy is a process where X-Rays may be used to destruct leukemia cells.
- Biological therapy may be employed to train the immune system to destroy the leukemia.
If you or a loved one are experiencing symptoms of leukemia, you should visit an oncologist at your earliest. You can visit our website oladoc.com to read up on leukemia and look for specialists in Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad. You can also call our helpline at 042-3890-0939 to get directed to the specialists that are suitable for your specific concerns.