A person suffering from leukemia has an increase in white blood cells which can give an idea about the disease,as in Greek the word leukemia stands for ‘white blood’ and hence after getting leukemia there are excess of white blood cells in the blood. This disease begins in the bone marrow which are soft and are an integral part of the bones and then start spreading their tentacles. The leukocytes formed inside the bone marrow defend the body from virus or bacteria and fights infection but if they are damaged or not in mature form they tend to increase in quantity without being able to defend the body properly.
The behavior of leukemia is entirely different from those of other cancers since this one begins in the major organs first and then spread all over the body including bone marrow. The production of red blood cells, which are mainly responsible for carrying oxygen, gets reduced due to the formation of leukemic cells as well as the formation of platelets and normal leukocytes also get reduced. These leukemic cells may enter the bloodstream and invade other vital body parts like spleen, liver, spinal cord if the leukemic cells are not treated early since they tend to increase in number.
Leukemia has different varieties and is found in more than a dozen form but only four types are found commonly among people. This can spread rapidly if not detected early and hence should be treated on time so as not to allow it spreading to the other parts of the body including bone marrow. The four most commonly found form of leukemia are:
- Acute myelogenous leukemia (AML)
- Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML)
- Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL)
- Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)
Acute leukemia develops suddenly and hence can be detected sooner but chronic leukemia is hard to diagnose since it may exist for long time without giving any symptoms. Leukemia should be treated properly and on time.