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  1. Reasons
  2. Symptoms
  3. Diagnosis
  4. Treatment


also known under the names



blood cancer

disease of hematopoietic system malignancy. Refers to the cancer of rapid development.

Upon the occurrence of leukemia occurs uncontrolled accumulation of white blood cells in an immature state, located in the bone marrow, internal organs and peripheral blood. Thus there is replacement of normal bone marrow cells, develop a shortage of blood cells. Rapid metastasis is also a symptom of the development of leukemia.

In the case of leukemia is the development of modified leukocytes that do not die when it wears out or after receiving injuries. These cells displace normal blood cells.


Leukemia can be classified in several ways. Mainly leukemia blood klassificeret according to the nature of the disease and type of leukocytes exposed to defeat.

The first criterion allows to distinguish the following types of leukemia like acute and chronic leukemia. A distinctive feature of this disease is the inability of the transition from acute to chronic.

With the development of chronic leukemia observed partial functions affected by your white blood cells asymptomatic leukemia. Often detect chronic leukemia during medical examination until symptoms.

Over time there is a manifestation of the symptomatic picture of the disease, due to the increased number of leukemic cells. Basically, the disease manifests itself through infections and enlarged lymph nodes. With the growth of the lesions occur in more serious signs of leukemia.

The acute form of leukemia has a high rate of proliferation of immature cells that are unable to perform their functions. The development of the disease takes place rapidly.

Another method of classification based on the type of white blood cells, is exposed to the process of malignancy. There are such types of diseases such as acute lymphoblastic leukemia, acute myeloblastic leukemia or acute myeloid leukemia.

There are four groups of leukemia, allowing to cover almost all of its forms.

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia

Slow-flowing form, which affects lymphoid cells. In most cases, patients are people aged 55 years. Leukemia in children is not observed in this category. The result of the forecast five-year survival rate is 75%.

Chronic myeloid leukemia

Experiencing this leukemia in adults, in most cases the elderly. The defeat exposed myeloid cells. The annual number of cases exceeds 5,000 people. Five-year survival rate of 90%.

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia

Rapidly progressive loss of lymphoid cells. Each year is recorded more than 5 thousand cases of the disease. This type of leukemia is the most common type of leukemia among children and adults. Can also occur in the elderly. The prognosis of survival is not more than 50% for adults and 90% in children.

Acute myeloid leukemia

The aggressive spread of cancer cells of the myeloid type. Patients can be both adults and children. Annual incidence of approximately 13,000 cases. The prognosis of survival does not exceed 40%.

In addition, separate types of leukemia can be the types of diseases that occur less often than others, for example, hairy cell leukemia or leukemia vrh.


Scientists have identified certain factors that contribute to the development of this disease.

Risk factors of leukemia are

  • radiation exposure, induce the development of myeloid leukemia both acute and chronic forms, and acute lymphoblastic leukemia
  • radioactive emissions
  • radiation therapy in case of frequent use
  • x-rays that increase the risk of developing leukemia if used frequently during different surveys
  • Smoking
  • interaction with the chemical reagents, in particular benzene
  • the use of chemotherapy
  • hereditary diseases, for example, down syndrome
  • diseases of the blood, for example, myelodysplastic syndrome.

However, it is worth considering that the presence of one or more factors of risk, not in all cases leads to the development of human leukemia. However, it is recommended to avoid contact with these factors to prevent the development of leukemia in the future.


The symptomatic picture of the disease depends on the type of leukemia, place of clusters and number of cells affected. In the event of damage to the tissues of the Central nervous system may experience confusion, loss of muscle control, vomiting, a constant headache.

The effect of leukemia can spread to the functioning of internal organs, for example kidneys, lungs, heart, which causes symptoms of impaired functioning of these organs.

Symptoms common to acute and chronic forms of leukemia include

  • enlarged lymph nodes of the armpits, groin, neck, not causing inconvenience to the patient
  • groundless increase in body temperature and increased sweating at night
  • frequent occurrence of infectious diseases
  • high level of weakness and fatigue
  • occur bruising or bleeding
  • bloating or pain in the abdomen due to increased internal organs located in this area
  • loss of appetite and weight
  • pain in joints and bones.

These symptoms and signs cannot indicate the presence of leukemia in humans. For this reason, in the case of any of these symptoms should be diagnosed immediately.


Diagnosis is possible only after a medical examination and passing a series of procedures of a diagnostic nature.

During the examination the doctor used palpation of the lymph nodes, liver and spleen.

The complete analysis of the blood sets the number of cells in the blood, which allows to determine the presence of leukemia.

The most reliable method of diagnosis of leukemia is taking from the patient biopsy. This will allow to establish the presence in the body of cancer cells. The procedure of biopsy is carried out exclusively under local anesthesia. Used the bone marrow of the pelvic bone or other large bone of the patient. Tissue is taken with the use of thin or thick needles.

In some cases, use of additional diagnostic procedures

  • cytogenetics the study of chromosomes of blood cells, cells of lymph nodes or bone marrow of the patient
  • a study of the spinal fluid this diagnostic method is carried out under the influence of local anesthesia and lasts no more than 30 minutes
  • x-rays of the chest allows you to fix the lymph nodes are subjected to increase or other symptoms of the disease in the chest of the patient.


The results of the blood tests and the biopsy allows to determine the type of developing leukemia. The prevalence of cancer makes it possible to calculate the stage of the disease. According to this information is the appointment of adequate treatment.

The main treatment of leukemia is chemotherapy. In this method, used drugs, tend to the destruction of cancer cells, in some cases slowing their reproduction than suspend distribution of the tumor in the human body. Can be used one or several drugs.

There are several methods of chemotherapy, namely, the oral method, intravenous, intrathecally chemotherapy, the introduction of drugs into the cerebrospinal fluid introduction into the scalp.

Application intratekalnoe chemotherapy offers some advantages compared to other methods. Using this method allows the drugs to penetrate into narrow vessels of the brain and spinal cord.

Treatment with the use of chemotherapy is conducted with an interval of 2 to 4 weeks. Implementation is possible in the office or on an outpatient basis, based on the complexity of the treatment process, the patient’s condition, adverse factors, etc. the Duration of the treatment process can vary.

The side effects of chemotherapy

Due to slow reproduction and growth of normal cells can cause bleeding, vomiting, hair loss. In some cases the use of chemotherapy leads to the development of infertility. Men stops the production of sperm, while women face a damage of the ovaries.

In this regard, it is recommended that men sperm prior to treatment, which will be frozen. Women also need to remove the egg before the application of chemotherapy. The measure is taken if the patient has a desire to have children in the future.

In the treatment of leukemia can be used in targeted therapy, radiation therapy, bone marrow transplantation, immunotherapy, and monitoring. It is also possible to use surgical intervention to remove the spleen in case of excessive increase of body.