Acute leukemia: symptoms, life expectancy

Leukemia is a group of diseases that the people are called «blood cancer». Their diagnosis and treatment is a special discipline – Hematology, which is the discipline that studies malignant neoplasms of blood-forming organs or bone marrow. What symptoms occur with acute leukemia, and how big is the life expectancy in these diseases?

First of all, we need to distinguish between certain types of acute leukemia as the symptoms and life expectancy in patients may significantly differ from each other.

What is hematopoietic sprouts?

It is known that our blood in the first approximation consists of cell mass that is produced in the red bone marrow, and the liquid part – plasma. All blood cells are highly specialized clones that descended from a single pluripotential stem cell that can specialize and provide appropriate offspring. There are three «germ» (direction of growth) that may occur as a result of specialization of stem cells:

  • Red (erythrocyte) Rostock. From it are the main red blood cells (erythrocytes), which transporterowych blood oxygen, carbon dioxide and nutrients.
  • White (leukocyte) blood germ. It is divided into lymphoproliferative, from which the formation of immune cells – lymphocytes, and myeloproliferative, from which place the remaining white blood cells.
  • Platelet Rostock. It leads to the formation of platelets regulate blood clotting.

The varieties of acute leukemia

Leukemia is a disease characterized by uncontrolled reproduction and increase the population of white blood cells germ, white blood cells («leukos» means white, colorless). Just as blood Rostock, acute leukemia blood lymphoproliferative and myeloproliferative.

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But it would be a mistake to think that in acute leukemia blood comes in healthy cells. In large numbers and uncontrolled in the blood are synthesized by immature cells – blasts, which are not capable of performing its function. So there are acute myeloid leukemia and acute lymphoblastic form. The less differentiated (more than immature, early) come out blasts in the peripheral blood, the harder course and worse prognosis of life in these diseases.

The clinical picture

Acute leukemia blood regardless of their form causes hematopoietic failure of bone marrow. This is a complex syndrome, which develops not only because of immature blasts are not able to perform its function, but also because the other sprouts (platelet, RBC) experiencing a serious shortage «of construction material and personnel» who are engaged in the production of blasts. This syndrome can be divided into more simple:

  • The syndrome of anemia. Develops due to absolute or relative lack of red blood cells. Manifested by pallor, shortness of breath on exertion, increased heart rate.
  • Hemorrhagic syndrome. Caused by a shortage of platelets. Begin to disturb the bruises, bleeding, including from the gums, intestines, soft tissues. Sometimes bleeding, life-threatening, for example, brain hemorrhage, uterine and gastro-intestinal forms.
  • Infectious-toxic shock. Lack of Mature white blood cells leads to frequent and severe purulent, bacterial and septic processes, which have unusually high resistance to treatment and the severity of the symptoms. The patient is often concerned about the tonsillitis, pneumonia, occurs abrasions, various abscesses and cellulitis.
  • Intoxication syndrome. Patients feel really bad about because a very large number of blast cells destroyed in the liver and spleen, causing self-poisoning of the organism with the development of hepatomegaly and splenomegaly (enlarged liver and spleen), which is of a compensatory character.
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In addition to these nonspecific syndromes occur and the particular manifestations that can occur in adults. These include:

  • Necrotic processes in the mucous membranes (usually the mouth). There are gingivitis (gum disease), ulcerative-necrotic tonsillitis or a sore throat. The symptom is associated with a pronounced leukocyte infiltration of the mucous and the accession of infection.
  • Swollen lymph nodes in acute lymphocytic leukemia. A large number of immature lymphoblasts are sent to the lymph nodes. They don’t bring there’s no use, they only increased lymph nodes. This occurs most often with nodes of the mediastinum, lungs, spleen and liver. This lymphadenopathy can lead to development of chest pain and reducing the amount of lung tissue in connection with appearance of restrictive respiratory failure.
  • The manifestation of neuroleukemia, or toxic and malignant lesions of the Central nervous system. As a rule, you may receive various focal symptoms such as paresis, sensory disorders, gait, tremor, and headache. The CNS involvement significantly complicates the course of any leukemia and shifts the prognosis unfavorable.

On the prognosis of acute leukemias

And patients and relatives concerned with the question: how many live with this disease? If at the beginning of the last century, there was no way to treat leukemia, now the medicine has a powerful Arsenal: high-dose chemotherapy and transplantation of bone marrow to radiotherapy. The prognosis of acute leukemia is determined by the following factors:

  • diagnosed with leukemia, if not treated quickly (within half a year earlier) leads to death;
  • if identified in children the chances of stable remission more than adults – up to 90%;
  • with timely treatment, more than 90% of patients with lymphoblastic and more than 76% with myeloid leukemia achieve remission.
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In conclusion, please note that the percentages given above are not talking about a full recovery, but only on the maturity of the five-year survival rate. It’s important to say that the suspicion is not acute leukemia is important every day, so you need as quickly as possible to pass the examination at the Oncology & Hematology unit and begin treatment.