Leukemia is cancer of the blood cells and it can impact anyone regardless of their age.
Some Fact Checks About Leukemia
However, the most common instances of the disease are seen in adults above 55 years of age and among children younger to 15 years of age.
Impact of leukemia on the body:
As a person develops leukemia, there are too many white blood cells circulating in his body.
Such over-concentration of white blood cells in the bloodstream of an individual crowd out the healthy red blood cells of the system.
Over the years the treatment of leukemia has seen significant developments, but there are still things about leukemia that need a better understanding.
Leukemia types differ from one another:
Three are mainly two types of leukemia, chronic and acute.
The cute type of leukemia develops in immature cells, known as blasts, they can grow very rapidly. This type of leukemia requires immediate medical intervention.
The chronic type of leukemia develops slowly in more matured cells and shows normal characteristics for a prolonged period of time before entering a phase of more rapid growth.
Chronic leukemia can often go unnoticed before it is detected.
Both types of leukemia involve different types of cells of the immune system, acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).
The other types of leukemia are acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) and chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML).
These are diseases of the myeloid cells and increase the concentration of platelets and blood cells in the body.
Medical intervention is not always needed right away:
Treatment is often not imminently required for individuals diagnosed with a chronic form of leukemia and without any major symptoms.
Doctors can stick to a policy of watchful waiting to monitor the status of leukemia to notice any signs of rapid deterioration, that is when treatment is started.
However, individuals under this treatment approach cab request their physician to stat treatment t any point they may feel concerned about their health.
Incidences of leukemia vary depending on age:
The most common type of leukemia in children and teenagers is acute myelogenous leukemia, and acute lymphocytic leukemia accounts for a negligible 3 to 4 cases in this age group.
Contrarily, acute myelogenous leukemia develops more in people aged 67 years and above, along with chronic lymphocytic leukemia. The reason behind such disparity is unclear to the scientists and doctors.
Children are also more likely to fully recover after 5 years of treatment in case of acute lymphocytic leukemia. 90% of children under the age of 15 show such statistics.
Moreover, their condition is unlikely to return later in life.
For children younger than 5 years of age, the survival percentage goes up to 93% for acute lymphocytic leukemia, and for all other forms of the disease, the survival rate is 70%.
Adults also respond well to the 5 years of leukemia treatment, and an estimated 60% of individuals live a healthy life followed by the completion of the treatment course.
The key takeaway:
Although leukemia shows a promising recovery for both children and adults, it is still one of the top ten causes of death in the USA in a year.
The overall incidence of leukemia has increased from 2002 to 2011 by a 0.2% average rise every year, and it is more prevalent in men compared to women, whereas Caucasians are or susceptible to the disease than any other ethnicity.
The present treatment for leukemia promises a complete recovery to the patients, it targets killing the unhealthy cells and sparing the healthy cells of the body, compared to the traditional chemotherapy.
However there are certain side effects associated with the treatment like with any other targeted medication, these include, elevated blood pressure and a skin condition similar to acne in appearance.
It is worthy to note that the emergence of such side effects indicates that the drug is effective and functional in the treatment of leukemia.