Leukemia – What is, Causes, Symptoms and Treatments of this condition. In addition, leukemia is characterized by excessive production of abnormal white cells, overpopulating the bone marrow. Bone marrow infiltration results in decreased production and functioning of normal blood cells.
Depending on the type, the disease may spread to the lymph nodes, spleen, liver , central nervous system and other organs and tissues, causing swelling in the affected area.
The Leukemia remains a major cause of death around the world. In Brazil, there are an average of 10,000 new cases of leukemia every year – most frequently in children under 5 years of age, although the vast majority of deaths occur among the adult population.
What is leukemia?
The Leukemia is the most famous type of cancer in blood . The condition begins with a dysfunction in bone marrow activity – a gelatinous substance that fills the bones and produces the red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets that make up human blood .
Such dysfunction disrupts the production of white blood cells (the body’s defense agents ), causing an uncontrolled multiplication of defective white blood cells, devoid of their natural defensive function.
Causes of Leukemia:
The leukemia originates from an acquired genetic defect, or not inherited. Cell division and death are controlled by information contained in genes within the chromosomes.
Mistakes that occur in the process of cell division can cause a genetic change that activates so-called oncogenes, promotes cell division, or disables tumor suppressor genes responsible for cell death (apoptosis).
In both cases, there is an exaggerated multiplication of the same cell, leading to the appearance of the clone ( cancer ). Although we know that there are some risk factors that lead to the onset of cancer , the exact cause is still unknown.
They may appear due to decreased production of erythrocytes by the bone marrow.
- Little hunger;
- Weight loss;
- Alopecia ;
- Irritability and weakness;
Leukemia Risk Factors:
The exact cause of leukemia is still unknown, but it is known that there are some factors that facilitate the onset of cancer . They are:
Some blood disorders , such as myelodysplasia and myeloproliferative neoplasms;
Some genetic diseases, such as fanconi anemia, neurofibromatosis, Down syndrome and others;
Exposure to chemicals derived from benzene, which may be present in petrochemical industries and chemical plants;
Previous treatment with radiotherapy or chemotherapy;
Exposure to ionizing radiation, as observed in people who survived nuclear leakage and atomic bomb.
It must be made clear that, however much there is a risk factor, it is not certain that the patient will have the disease.
The first suspicion of the manifestation of leukemia happens through blood test , in which altered numbers of cells will be a suspicion. After further clinical examination it is possible to see if there is excessive proliferation of immature cells in the bone marrow.
When they infiltrate the body, they cause the first symptoms of the disease, including acute infections due to the inefficiency of the body’s defense system.
Treatments For Leukemia:
The treatment of leukemia usually consists of a combination of radiotherapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy and the famous bone marrow transplant, with the main purpose of destroying the malignant cells that are deregulating the blood levels of the body , thus returning the normal production of cells. of the human body .
The treatment tends not to be too long, taking about two sessions on average for the malignant cells to be destroyed, but this time may be relative according to the type of leukemia and severity.
The biggest difficulty with bone marrow transplantation is finding a donor who has similar blood conditions to the patient who will receive the transplant.