Leukemia Case Study

Topics: Bone marrow, Blood, Leukemia Pages: 32 (4654 words) Published: April 16, 2015


Yessenia Campos
Nursing 254, Section L01
Professor Tangney
February 20, 2015

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the blood cancer leukemia. It will entail a detailed description of the condition, etiology, risk factors, medical care , nursing care. Hematological and immunological functions are necessary for gas exchange, tissue perfusion, nutrition, acid-base balance, protection against infection and hemostasis of the body (Ignatavicius & Workman, 2013). Due to the variety of forms of Leukemia, this paper will only focus on Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Leukemias are cancers of the blood-forming tissues. White blood cells may be produced in excessive amounts and are unable to work properly which weakens the immune system. The patient is a 68 year old male admitted on 02/07/2015 with chief complaint of weakness and shortness of breath. Patient was admitted to the medical-surgical unit with pneumonia.

Description of Condition
First of all, What is Leukemia? In healthy person, white blood cells are produced in the bone marrow and then it transfer to the blood in a continuous basis. Bone marrow is the spongy tissue inside the bone where blood cells are made. They are produced by stem cells in the long bones. According to Ignatavicius and Workman (2013), “Leukemia accounts for 2% of all new cases of cancers and 4 % of all deaths from cancer” (as cited in American Cancer Society, 2011). In a person with AML, the same process occurs, except the white blood cells production proceeds to an excessive uncontrollable rate of immature white blood cells. In acute leukemia, the leukemic or blast cells function abnormally and accumulate in the peripheral blood, the bone marrow, and central nervous system. At an uncontrollable rate leukemic cells don't stop diving when should. Most patients with acute leukemia will only live few months if left untreated. Body then is deprived of essential components for its immune system. Leukocytes(white blood cells) protect our bodies from infections and cancer development. Furthermore, it presents with pare skin, petechiae, bleeding from minor cuts, lack of energy , and mild fever and aches in the joints or bones(Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, 2011). There are may types of leukemias, but the four most common forms are derived from only two types of cells, lymphocytes, and myelocytes. There are subtypes of these diseases, which are classified depending on specific cell type involved or degree of maturity. The estimates for leukemia in the United States for 2014 are about 18,860 new cases of Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Most will be in adults. (American Cancer Society, 2014).

Etiology and Risk factors
The exact cause of leukemia is unknown. There are many different origins and risk factors for the four main kinds of leukemia and while some may be directly linked, there are others that show small linkage to anything at all. Environmental and genetic factor are involved in the development of leukemia. Risk factors to the development of leukemia include environmental factors, immunologic factors, genetic factors, reduced production of blood cells in the bone marrow, exposure to chemical and drugs, viral infections, and ionizing radiation. AML has no main risk factors, but does have a few potential risk factors like excessive exposure to benzene, a chemical found in cigarette smoke and work places (Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, 2011). Smoking is a risk factor for many diseases such as lung cancer, heart disease, kidney disease among others but what most people fail to realize, It is a risk factor for leukemia. Leukemia can be acute, with sudden onset and short duration, or chronic, with slow onset and persistent symptoms for years. According to Ignatavicius and Workman (2013), “ With Leukemia,...
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