What Leukemia Symptoms Should I Look For?

November 12, 2012

What Leukemia Symptoms Should I Look For?

Leukemia is a cancer that begins in the marrow part of various bones, and it affects your body’s ability to create new, healthy blood cells. It accounts for around 2% of all cancers. Unlike other cancers, there are some

leukemia symptoms

you can look out for that are discussed below.New blood cells are created in the marrow of bones, and they include red and white blood cells as well as platelets. Leukemia generally affects the white blood cells, although it can affect the red cells and platelets as well. It can be either acute or chronic – chronic leukemia is rare in children, but both adults and children can suffer with acute leukemia. If a child is going to develop leukemia, it will generally be before the age of 10. It is more like to affect males than females, and Caucasians are more susceptible than those of other ethnic backgrounds.

Platelets aid the blood’s clotting process. Red blood cells are responsible for carrying oxygen from the lungs to the rest of your body, and at the same time transport poisonous carbon dioxide to the lungs to be exhaled. White blood cells come in two main groups – granulocytes and lymphocytes, and help the body to repair itself, as well as aiding the immune system in fighting infections and diseases.

There are many different types of Leukemia – as there are two types of white blood cells, they can be divided into leukemias affecting the granulocytes and leukemias affecting the lymphocytes. If the cancer affects the granulocytes, it is known as myeloid or myelogenous leukemia. If it arises from the lymphocytes, it is called lymphocytic leukemia.

There are a few possible causes of leukemia, including exposure to radiation or chemicals such as those found in unleaded fuel; being exposed to things used to cure other cancers, or any type of genetic unusuality.

Most of the time, no cause can be identified in patients with leukemia – it is not a genetic disease, although sometimes members of the same family have both been diagnosed with the disease. However, this could be due to any number of reasons, including the possibility of them both being exposed to radiation or another known cause of some types of leukemia.

Some leukemia symptoms include things like a fever or fatigue along with aching joints. This is because your white blood cells are not able to fight off infection, so you are more likely to pick up frequent infections. Headaches have also been reported as an early-stage symptom. Other leukemia symptoms include swollen glands, unexplained weight loss, slow-healing skin injuries including regular bruising and a swollen liver or spleen.

If you are suffering from any of these known leukemia symptoms, be comforted in that they are also symptoms of flu and other common medical problems. You should see your doctor and get a professional diagnosis, but try not to be too concerned if you are reading this and feeling feverish, achey and thin!

During an examination, swollen lymph nodes or liver may alert your doctor and give him cause to run further tests. These can include blood tests and bone marrow biopsies in order to examine cellular life and activity. Genetic tests may also be prescribed – these are helpful in determining the specific type of leukemia you are suffering from.

There is no known way to prevent many forms of leukemia, so until further scientific breakthrough, it is recommended that if any of your close relatives have suffered from this disease, you should undergo routine checks, especially if you are suffering from any of the leukemia symptoms mentioned above.

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