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Key Information About Leukemia

Updated on January 16, 2020
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Srikanth is passionate about helping people improve their quality of life.


Leukemia is a type of cancer found in the blood and bone marrow. It is caused by rapid production of abnormal white blood cells.

Leukemia incidence is generally higher in males, with a global male to female ratio of 1.4.

Acute lymphocytic leukemia, also known as acute lymphoblastic leukemia (or ALL), is the most common type of leukemia.



Acute lymphoid leukemia (ALL)
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML)
Chronic lymphoid leukemia (CLL)
Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML)

We know that it [Acute lymphoid leukemia] is multiple diseases, not just one disease. Each disease has its own genetic changes that drive tumor growth.

— Charles Mullighan, MBBS, MD.


The exact cause of leukemia is not known. Some experts are of the opinion that certain changes in the DNA inside normal bone marrow cells can cause them to grow out of control and become leukemia cells.

A combination of genetic and environmental factors can lead to mutations in the cells.

Many experts are of the opinion that this cancer does not usually run in families, so in most cases, it is not hereditary. However, people can inherit genetic abnormalities that increase their risk of developing this form of cancer.

Radiation exposure, previous cancer treatment and being over the age of 65 are some risk factors for leukemia.

Viruses have also been linked to some forms of leukemia. For instance human T-lymphotropic virus (HTLV-1) causes adult T-cell leukemia.

Genetic disorders like Down syndrome can increase your risk of developing leukemia.

Artist Luke Stalker-Switzer, a sculptor working in the television and movie industry for more than a decade, was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) in 2017.

“They call CML the worker’s cancer and one of the leading causes is benzene.

It’s in plastics, resins, industrial solvents and it’s something I was always around,” Luke said, calling it shocking that many dangerous chemicals whose side effects are often ignored or unknown are used daily.

Research scientists from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) have discovered that Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) grows by taking advantage of the B6 vitamin to accelerate cell division.



Fatigue, malaise, loss of appetite, weight loss, fever, shortness of breath, paleness, palpitations, weakness, dizziness, easy bruising, frequent nose bleeds, severe nose bleeds, bleeding gums, bleeding in the middle of a menstrual cycle, heavy menstrual flow, petechiae, frequent infections in the lungs, urinary tract or gums or around the anus, frequent cold sores, vomiting, headache, sore throat, night sweats, bone pain, joint pain, enlarged lymph nodes in the neck, underarm, groin or above the collarbone, abdominal discomfort, feeling of fullness, vision problems, sores in the eyes, swelling of the testicles, chloroma, leukemia cutis, leukocytoclastic vasculitis and Sweet’s syndrome are known symptoms of leukemia.


A blood test showing an abnormal white cell count may suggest the diagnosis.

Your doctor may recommend a procedure to remove a sample of bone marrow from your hipbone.

The bone marrow is removed using a long, thin needle. The sample is sent to a laboratory to look for leukemia cells.

Research scientists at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases and the University of Bonn have found that AI can detect AML with high reliability.


Chemotherapy uses medicines to kill cancer cells. Depending on the drug, chemotherapy can be given by mouth, into a vein through an IV, through a catheter or directly into the cerebrospinal fluid. Chemotherapy kills fast-growing leukemia cells.

Lymphoblastic leukemia, commonly diagnosed in children, has a 90 percent cure rate for patients who follow the common treatment plan of up to two and a half years of chemotherapy.

A molecular process involved in the action of anti-leukemia drugs has been discovered at Université de Montréal's Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer (IRIC). While calling into question a central tenet of oncology, this discovery, published today in the journal Cancer Cell, also holds promise for the development of effective treatments in the near future.


The synthesis of cephalotaxine and homoharringtonine (HHT) paves the way toward less-expensive, more readily available leukemia drugs whose production is not subject to the risks and inefficiencies associated with harvesting natural sources.


There is really nothing you can do to prevent leukemia; however, turmeric may reduce the risk of this condition.

Turmeric contains curcumin, a powerful polyphenol that has been clinically proven to retard the growth of cancer cells causing leukemia.

Curcumin promotes apoptosis, which safely eliminates cancer breeding cells without posing any threat to the development of other healthy cells.

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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2019 Srikanth R


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    • srirad0675 profile imageAUTHOR

      Srikanth R 

      17 months ago


    • srirad0675 profile imageAUTHOR

      Srikanth R 

      17 months ago


    • Larry Slawson profile image

      Larry Slawson 

      17 months ago from North Carolina

      Very interesting! Learned a lot! Thank you for sharing! Such a terrible disease.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      17 months ago from UK

      I have heard of bone marrow transplants being used in the treatment of leukaemia. Treatments have improved in recent years.


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