Essay about Leukemia: Treatment Through Biological Therapy and Chemotherapy

Essay about Leukemia: Treatment Through Biological Therapy and Chemotherapy

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Leukemia is cancer of the body's blood-forming tissues, such as the bone marrow and the lymphatic system, and causes large amounts of abnormal blood cells to be produced and enter the blood stream (Mayo Clinic, 2013). Unlike normal blood cells, leukemia cells don’t die when they become old or damaged. Because of this, leukemia cells can build up and crowd out the normal blood cells making it harder for the body to get oxygen to the tissues, control bleeding, or fight infections. In 2013, more than 43,000 adults and 5,000 children and teens will be diagnosed with this disease in the United States (National Cancer Institute, 2013). Leukemia’s are grouped by the speed of progression (acute or chronic) as well as by the type of blood cell that is involved (lymphocytes or myelocytes). The four main types of leukemia are acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), acute myelocytic leukemia (AML),and chronic myelocytic leukemia (CML) (Medicinenet, 2014). ALL, AML and CML are thought to be caused by exposure to radiation or to chemicals like benzene. CLL shows the highest family incidence of any major blood cancer, leading scientists to believe that heredity along with exposure to additional risk factors are the cause (Klosterman, 2006).

Leukemia is different from most other cancers because it does not produce masses or tumors which makes it more challenging to notice (Bozzone, Ph.D., 2009). The acute types of leukemia, ALL and AML, symptoms are seen a lot faster than in the chronic types of leukemia, CLL and CML, where symptoms do not typically appear right away. Some common symptoms of leukemia are fever or chills, persistent fatigue and weakness, frequent or severe infections, weight loss, swollen ly...

... middle of paper ...

...o take part in, studying new targeted therapy, biological therapy, chemotherapy and combinations of treatments. Because of this research, children and adults with leukemia can look forward to a better quality of life and a better chance of survival.

• Works Cited
• (2014).
“Leukemia Fact Sheet.” Last updated March 14, 2014.
• Mayo Clinic (2013) “Definition” “Symptoms” Last updated October 3, 2013
• National Cancer Institute (2013) “What you need to know about Leukemia”
Last updated December 23, 2013
• Bozzone, Ph.D., D. (2009) “Leukemia”
Chelsea House. An imprint of Infobase Publishing
• Klosterman, L. (2006). “Leukemia”
Marshall Cavendish Benchmark

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