Leukemia: Risk Factors, Types and Symptoms

What is Leukemia? This is known as cancer of the human blood or that of bone marrow that produces blood cells. Leukemia manifests through the production of cells called leukocytes which is white blood cells.

Obviously, there is no known prevention for leukemia as it is caused by increase in the amount of white cells in the body. The red cells and the platelets needed to keep the body healthy are crowded out and this causes a problem – cancer of the blood.

Factors that are most likely to increase the risk of leukemia occurrence

As stated earlier, there are no known causes of leukemia but some identified factors are most likely to increase the chances of the occurrence. They are:
• Addictive smoking
• Exposure to extreme radiation
• Disorders in the blood system like myelodysplastic syndrome also referred to as preleukemia
• Generational history of existence of leukemia
• Genetic malady like the Down syndrome
• Exposure to harmful chemicals like benzene

There are three different types of cells in human blood: the red cells which are responsible for the carriage of oxygen, the white cells that help fight germs and infection and the platelets which are responsible for blood clothing.

Billions of new cells are daily supplied to the bone marrow majority of which are red cells. When the cancer “Leukemia” sets in, the body instead of producing more red cells produces more white cells than it requires.

The inability of leukemia cells to fight against infection causes the major organs of the body to start malfunctioning. At the end, there will be insufficient red blood cells to bring in oxygen, platelets for blood clothing and white blood cells to combat infection.

Types of Leukemia
Acute and chronic leukemia: white blood cells follow several maturation stages in their lifespan. Leukemia is said to be acute when it occurs rapidly in amassing of useless immature cells in the blood and bone marrow. They are squashed out of the bone marrow very early and thus become nonfunctional. Chronic leukemia on the other hand, progresses less rapidly and gives room for more useful and matured cells to be formed. What this implies is that acute leukemia removes the good cells faster than chronic leukemia.

Lymphocytic leukemia and Myelogenous leukemia: Leukemia has been further subdivided into the kind of blood cell that is affected. If the diseased transformation happens in the lymphocytes bone marrow, it is lymphocytic kind of leukemia. Lymphocyte is found in the immune system vertebrae. If the diseased transformation happens in the kind of marrow cells which supplies red blood cells, and other categories of white cells and platelets, it is myelogenous kind of leukemia.

Leukemia symptoms
These are symptoms of the presence of leukemia:
• Too much sweating mostly in the night
• Pain of the bones and tenderness
• Frequent fever
• Bruising and bleeding so quickly
• Constant infections
• Red mark on the skin known as petechiae
• Tiredness and faintness that rest cannot stop
• Unusual loss of weight
• Increment of the spleen or liver.