Leukemia Paper

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  • Topic: Leukemia, Bone marrow, Chemotherapy
  • Pages : 5 (1852 words )
  • Download(s) : 332
  • Published : December 9, 2010
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Leukemia is a cancer that affects the bone marrow. The bon marrow is the soft spongy center of the bone that produces blood cells. Leukemia is found in white blood cells or leukocytes. The white blood cells help to fight ff infections and other diseases. Normally, cells produce in an orderly way, but people that have leukemia the cell production gets out of control. The marrow produces too many immature white blood cells called blasts. They are differently shaped and can’t carry out their usual duties.

When someone has leukemia the white blood cells that form can not help the body fight off infections. With leukemia people might have frequent infections and have flu-like symptoms, such as fever and chills. If the cells multiply and move out into the body, they tend to collect in organs like the liver, or the spleen, it may cause pain and swelling. If the cells collect in the central nervous system, and that may causes headaches, vomiting, confusion, loss of muscle control, it affects red blood cells and platelets, which cause bleeding problems and a disorder called anemia. This causes the person to look pale and feel weak and tired, also bleed or bruise easily, or find that their gums are swollen or bleeding. Leukemia also causes loss of appetite and/or weight loss; tiny red spots under the skin; sweating, especially at night; and bone or joint pain.

The Diagnoses of leukemia starts by going to a doctor usually the doctor will not expect leukemia with the symptoms. But, with those symptoms they start by doing a full physical exam and feel for swelling in the liver, the spleen, and the lymph nodes under the arms, in the groin, and the neck. The doctor will most likely do blood work to determine the number of mature. The blood tests might show the person has leukemia, but not what type it is. A bone marrow aspiration test might be needed to check for the blood cells that cause leukemia and to see what type of leukemia it is. This test is done by inserting a large needle into the middle of hip bone to get a sample of the yellow spongy marrow. Other tests that may be performed is a spinal tap where you take a sample of the fluid that fills the spaces in and around the brain and spinal cord, so that it can be checked for the cells that cause leukemia. Also, a chest x-rays and special scans can reveal signs of cells other parts of the body. Leukemia can be diagnosed as acute, chronic, lymphocytic, or myelogenous leukemia. Acute leukemia gets worse quickly, with fast multiplication of abnormal, immature blasts. Chronic leukemia worsens gradually. Abnormal blasts are present, but they are more natural and can carry out some of their functions. Lymphocytic leukemia affects certain white blood cells called lymphocytes, which control the body’s immune response by finding and destroying foreign substances. Myelogenous leukemia affects other types of white blood cells in the bone marrow. The types of doctors that may diagnosis and/or treats leukemia depending on them are: Oncologist, Hematologist, Pediatric Oncologist, and Pediatric Hematologist. Doctors can’t identify a specific cause of leukemia. But, some risk factors that studies have shown that people that are exposed to high or repeated doses of radiation, “such as Japanese survivors of the atomic bomb dropped at Hiroshima.” (1 pg. 526) People who have been treated with radiation therapy because of other cancers, in both cases you are more than likely to get leukemia. Workers who are exposed to benzene which is found in gasoline, these workers frequently develop it. It is under research that certain viruses, genes may contribute to leukemia. The cells found in the people with leukemia are found that they often share some genetic abnormalities. Some people think that the low-energy waves given off by high-voltage electric power lines; has to do with childhood leukemia, but studies show no connection. If you are diagnosed with acute leukemia doctors start...
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