In the last 40-50 years science has made remarkable research advancement in the study and treatment of many forms of cancer. One form of cancer that remains at a constant rate of diagnosis is leukemia. The medical world describes Leukemia as any one of over 100 forms of cancers that affect blood cells, but because there are so many forms doctors and researchers have been able to classify all of them into to four major groups. The four are as follows: Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), Acute myeloid leukemia (AML), Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). .
Researchers continue to do this in an attempt to answer the following questions: 1. What is Leukemia? 2. What are the causes of leukemia? 3. Who is at risk of developing leukemia? 4. What are the treatments for it? .
What is Leukemia?.
Leukemia, as stated, is any one of over 100 forms of cancer in the blood affecting red and white blood cells as well as the platelets. More specifically leukemia is a disease that begins with the production of blood cells in the bone marrow. When the disease begins abnormal blood cells are released into the blood stream at a rate in which the body can no longer control.
These cancerous cells hinder many of the basic functions of the blood. Red blood cells are prevented from transporting valuable oxygen to all major organs in the body. Also at risk of abnormality are disease and infection fighting white cells, such as granulocytes, macrophages and lymphocytes. Platelets, which aid in blood clotting, can also be affected. The platelets help with clotting and prevent major blood loss, both internally and externally.
What causes Leukemia? .
It is unclear the exact cause of leukemia as a whole, but studies have been able to show links between leukemia and environmental factors surrounding most patients.
Like many forms of cancer, researchers link about 20% of all known cases of leukemia to smoking.