Leukemia is a cancer of the blood cells. The abnormal blood cells are produced in the bone marrow. Usually the production of abnormal white blood cells responsible for fighting infection has went wrong. These abnormal cells in leukemia do not function properly and continue to grow and divide, eventually crowding out the normal blood cells. This makes it hard for the body to fight infections, control bleeding and transport oxygen.
- acute leukemia develops rapidly and affects the blood and bone marrow. Leading to tiredness, easy bruising and infections. Requires fast and aggressive treatment.
- chronic leukemia develops slowly over time and may not have symptoms at the beginning. Left untreated it can lead to the same symptoms as acute leukemia.
Symptoms of leukemia depends on type. Typically symptoms are fevers, night sweats, swollen lymph nodes, fatigue, bleeding or bruising, frequent infection, bone or joint pain, weight loss and red spots on skin
Diagnosis is done by testing blood and bone marrow, chest x-rays, lumbar puncture to test body fluids.
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