Leukemia: what is it?
Leukemia is called cancer lose blood cells leukocytes. If in a normal state blood cells are your physiological cycle (division, function and death) no change in leukemia cells do not obey these laws, and multiply and grow by themselves, without control.
The main purpose of that is done, the white blood cells in blood protect the body from foreign agents (viruses, bacteria) and infection control. Leukemia blood leads to the fact that the natural processes of formation of blood corpuscles are broken, and the fluid gets a huge number of white blood cells. Unfortunately, these white blood cells do not perform their usual functions, but also have disturbed the rhythm of life – they just don’t die. Thus, the body cannot produce healthy white blood cells that would fight diseases.
In addition, the risk and the diseased white blood cells that spread to lymph nodes and other organs. This provokes a serious disruption of the body increase in size.
Causes of leukemia blood
Like all cancerous pathologies, leukemia a clear cause has not yet been elucidated. This disease can occur in children and in adults, leukemia affects people of both sexes with a variety of health deviations. Therefore, to determine the cause, provoking the development of leukemia, it is very difficult. However, doctors have established a number of adverse factors that can give effect to the degeneration of normal blood cells into malignant ones. Such factors include:
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Forms of leukemia
The disease occurs in both acute and in the chronic form. In the acute form the patient find a significant proportion of cancer cells are not able to perform its functions. These cells trigger earlier appearance of leukaemia and a rapid progression of the disease.
In the chronic form of the disease cells affected by the pathology, some time able to function properly due to what symptoms of the disease appears later. Although cancer cells do not behave as aggressively as in the acute form, however, leukemia still faces rapid progression due to the presence in the blood of a large number of pathologically changed cells. An interesting fact is that both forms of pathology are not into one another and flow separately. Therefore, the division of leukemia at the «acute» and «chronic» is very relative. Knowing what it is, the doctors are unable to predict the scenario of the disease.
Types of leukemia
The type of illness depends on what type of cells involved in the pathological process. Thus, doctors have identified the following types of leukemia:
The symptoms of the disease
Signs of the disease is largely dependent on its shape. The most common symptom of leukemia of the blood, characteristic of both forms of pathology is changes in the blood formula. They can be found as in preventive examination with blood counts and targeted treatment of any disease where required such analysis. The most common symptoms of chronic leukemia:
- the emergence of chronic weakness and fatigue;
- disorders in the digestive organs, nausea and vomiting;
- temperature rise;
- sudden bleeding;
- enlargement of the spleen, liver, lymph nodes;
- pain in joints and bones.
Manifestations of acute leukemia:
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- sore throat;
- internal bleeding.
Diagnosis of leukemia
In addition to the symptoms that were mentioned above for the diagnosis of disease you must conduct some research. It was after receiving final results of all diagnostic procedures you can talk about leukemia and its form. The most basic analysis – a blood test. This study set the number of leukocytes, then usually a laboratory diagnosed thrombocytopenia, and the so-called «leukemic failure», in which the blood revealed Mature forms of blasts.
Along with this blood test, patients undergo a bone marrow puncture. With the help of puncture, it is possible to learn additional characteristics of the leukemia, its type and form. In the study of the substance of bone marrow is based myelogram, which helps to determine the number of blast cells. Additionally patients a study carried out cytochemical, immunophenotyping, cytogenetic investigation, study of the cerebrospinal fluid, x-ray examination, biochemical blood analysis, ultrasonic research of organs.
For the treatment of acute leukemia doctors use several drugs to maximally influence the disease. Patients with acute leukemia impose significant doses of glucocorticoids. Another way to cure blood cancer – bone marrow transplantation. Transplantation is conducted together with blood transfusions and supportive therapy, which should facilitate the engraftment of bone marrow from the new owner. Rejection of bone marrow after surgery is not uncommon, so on this issue the doctors are still working.
In chronic leukemia patients are administered antimetabolites – drugs that inhibit the increase of malignant neoplasms. To enhance the effect, patients can prescribe chemotherapy with cytotoxic drugs and radiation therapy. During treatment of the patient protected from contact with the environment, because his body is almost not opposed to infections, and any minor disease can be fatal.
At all stages of treatment the patient is under strict medical supervision. The patient regularly do the main tests to spot a recurrence of the disease. Recurrences usually occur at the stage of treatment of the disease, or soon after it. If within five years no relapse was observed, it is possible to speak about relative success in the treatment of blood cancer. Treatment of blood cancer with special drugs can last for the whole life.