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Leukemia: Everything You Need to Know
A type of cancer that affects blood and bone marrow
Leukemia is the most common cancer in children and teens, accounting for almost 1 out of 3 cancers.
- Treatable by a medical professional
- Requires a medical diagnosis
- Lab tests or imaging always required
Leukemia first starts in the bone marrow, where the leukemia cells are developed, which are healthier and grow faster than normal cells. Leukemia cells normally take over the white blood cells (WBCs) that form a vital part of our immune system. Hence, once the leukemia cells reduce a sufficient number of WBCs, they drastically affect oneâ€™s immunity and the ability to fight infection. Leukemia can be acute (fast-growing), chronic (slow-growing), or it could develop in the myeloid cells or lymphoid cells.
Ages affected: Any age group
While slow-growing leukemia might not show any symptoms, fast-growing leukemia may include fatigue and weakness, along with frequent infections.
People may experience:
Whole body: Weight loss, dizziness, and excessive sweating (especially at night)
Pain areas: Bones or joints, along with tenderness
Also common: Painless swollen lymph nodes, bleeding, easy bruising, red spots, liver or spleen enlargement, or mouth ulcers
Medication: Doctors will recommend chemotherapy and radiation therapy and use drugs to kill leukemia cells. Stem-cell transplantation helps heal the diseased bone marrow.
Specialists: For a medical opinion, consult an oncologist or a pediatrician. At mfine, you can find a range of doctors to choose from for a wide array of health issues.
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