Types of Cancer
Leukemia is cancer that involves tissues that form the blood and incudes blood marrow and the lymphatic system. Leukemia affects white blood cells that grow and divide to fight infections in the body. As a result, the bone marrow produces an excessive amount of white blood cells that don’t properly function. Leukemia can be classified in two types depending on how fast it progresses and what type of white blood cell is affected.
1. Acute leukemia deals with immature blood cells called blasts. They multiply rapidly but don’t carry out normal functions so the disease progresses quickly often requiring rapid and aggressive treatments.
Chronic leukemia involved more mature blood cells which typically replicate more slowly and can mostly perform normal functions. As a result, this type of leukemia can go undiagnosed with little indications of symptoms.
2. Lymphocytic leukemia controls lymphoid cells or lymphocytes that form lymphatic tissue. This tissue makes up a body’s immune system.
Myelogenous leukemia affects myeloid cells. These cells produce red blood cells, white blood cells, and cells that produce platelets.
What you should know
Leukemia can affect both adults and children. People who’ve undergone certain types of cancer treatments like chemotherapy or radiation are at a great risk for certain types of leukemia. Exposure to the chemical benzene is known to increase the risk of certain leukemia and smoking can increase risk of acute myelogenous leukemia. Genetic abnormalities like Down syndrome and a family history of leukemia add to risk factors.
Symptoms vary depending on the type of leukemia but they can include chronic fatigue, weight loss, easy bleeding and bruising, recurring nose bleeds, frequent infections, fevers, chills, bone pain, excessive sweating, swollen lymph nodes, enlarged spleen or liver, and tiny red spots on the skin called petechiae.
Surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy are common conventional treatments for leukemia which can be very aggressive on the body. Other less invasive therapies to consider include more innovative methods that include immunotherapies. Schedule a consult with our medical staff to better understand how Dayspring Cancer Clinic can help you with your therapy options.