Mahesh Memorial Trust




Leukemia

Leukemia or blood cancer is a cancer of the white blood cells (WBC). A large number of white blood cells are produced in the stem cells of the bone marrow. These immature cells are incapable of normal functions. Leukemia can be acute (rapid growing) or chronic (slowly growing).
Symptoms
Tiredness and lethargy (as a result of anemia)
Pale complexion
Frequent, prolonged or severe infections (as a result of impaired white cell function)
Frequent bruising and bleeding (as a result of platelet deficiency)
Tiny red spots (called petechiae) under the skin
Swollen or bleeding gums
Sweating, especially at night
Bone or joint pain
Loss of appetite and/or weight
Swollen or tender lymph nodes, liver, or spleen
Diagnosis
Evaluating medical history and thorough clinical examination
Routine examination of the blood, urine and stool
Biopsy - Examining cells or tissues from the suspected lesion under a microscope.
Bone marrow aspiration - Examining a sample of bone marrow under a microscope by inserting a needle into a large bone (usually the hip) and removing a small amount of liquid bone marrow.
Spinal tap (lumbar puncture) - to check for leukemia cells in the fluid that fills the spaces in and around the brain and spinal cord (cerebrospinal fluid).
Chest X-rays - Examines signs of disease in the chest.
Staging in Leukemia
Binet Staging is based on the number of lymphoid tissues that are involved (i.e., the spleen and the lymph nodes of the neck, groin, and underarms), as well as the presence of low red blood cell count (anemia) or low number of blood platelets (thrombocytopenia):

Binet Stage A - patients have fewer than three areas of enlarged lymphoid tissue. Enlarged lymph nodes of the neck, underarms, and groin, as well as the spleen, are each considered "one group," whether unilateral (one-sided) or bilateral (on both sides).

Binet Stage B patients have more than three areas of enlarged lymphoid tissue

Binet Stage C patients have anemia plus thrombocytopenia (platelets <100 ┤ 103 /ÁL).

Side Effects of the Treatment
Infections, tiredness, temporary hair loss and mouth sores
Skin reactions in the treated areas (such as a rash or redness)
Loss of appetite and decrease in the number of white blood cells that help protect the body against infection.
Risk Factors:
Very high levels of radiation
Working with certain chemicals such as benzene and formaldehyde
Patients treated with chemotherapy may later develop leukemia
Downs Syndrome and other genetic diseases
Human T-cell leukemia virus-I (HTLV-I)
Myelodysplastic syndrome
Exposure to electromagnetic fields