Leukemia: Risk Factors, Types, and Symptoms

Leukemia is commonly known as cancer of the blood or cancer of the bone marrow. As you probably know, bone marrow is the one that produces blood cells. This disease manifests itself through the production of cells known as leukocytes that are white blood cells. There is no known medicine to prevent leukemia. This is because it is caused by an increase of white cells in the blood system. The platelets and red cells ought to keep your body healthy, are phased out, and this results in a serious health issue.

What causes leukemia?

As noted above, there are no known causes of blood cancer. However, the following identified factors are likely to increase chances of occurrence:

  • Addictive smoking
  • Exposure to harmful chemicals such benzene
  • Genetic malady such as Down syndrome
  • Generational history of leukemia in your family
  • Blood system disorders such as myelodysplastic syndrome
  • Exposure to extreme radiation

How leukemia starts

There are various types of cells in the human blood: red cells are responsible for oxygen transportation, platelets for blood clotting, and white cells which fight infection and germs. Billions of cells are produced daily by the bone marrow. The majority of these cells are red cells. However, when one suffers from leukemia, the bone marrow starts to produce more white cells as compared to red blood cells.

As a result, white cells ability to fight infections is weakened. This makes major organs of your body to start malfunctioning. This is because there are inadequate red blood cells that supply oxygen, white blood cells that combat infections, and platelets for blood clotting.

Type of leukemia

Chronic and acute leukemia

You should note that white blood cells undergo different maturation stages. Acute leukemia is when you amass a lot of useless, immature blood cells and bone marrow. They get out of bone marrow very early. Thus, they become non-functional. On the other hand, chronic leukemia progresses less rapidly and offers you room for more matured and useful cells to be formed. This implies that acute leukemia eliminates good cells quicker as compared to chronic leukemia.

Leukemia symptoms

The following symptoms show the presence of leukemia:

  • Frequent fever
  • Constant infections
  • Too much sweating particularly during the night
  • Bleeding and bruising quickly
  • Unusual loss of weight
  • Increment of liver and spleen
  • Tenderness and pain in the bones
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