Today, many people suffer from leukemia. Large numbers of cancer patients have been diagnosed with leukemia. Leukemia is a cancer of the blood and bone marrow. The disease is characterized by an overproduction of immature blood cells (stem cells) that cannot fully develop and function normally in normal blood cells.
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Depending on their function and structure, there are three different types of cells in normal blood: red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Through the process of hematopoiesis, these three blood cells develop into a specific type of blood cell called a stem cell. Stem cells divide through various stages of development to form a specific type of mature blood cell with a specific function in the body. The process by which stem cells adapt to mature blood cells takes place in the bone marrow.
Depending on the speed of development and the severity of the disorder, there are two types of leukemia: acute leukemia and chronic leukemia. Acute leukemia develops very quickly and chronic leukemia develops slowly. Depending on the type of blood cell affected, the leukemia can be lymphocytic or myelogenous.
Lymphocytic and myelogenous leukaemia develops from different cells: lymphocytes or lymphocytes from cells in the spongy tissue of bone and myelogenous leukemia (sometimes called myeloid and myeloid).
In acute forms of leukemia, the abnormal cells come from early, immature cells. This disorder has a very fast growth rate due to the tendency of normal stem cells to multiply frequently. Leukemic cells do not divide faster and more often than normal stem cells and must stop the dividing process. Sometimes the white blood cell count is very high and in other cases it is normal or low.
Chronic leukaemia, in addition to its slow progression, differs from acute leukaemia in the degree of maturation that can reach the diseased cells. Stem cells affected by chronic leukaemia reach high levels of maturation, but are abnormal and cannot function as healthy white blood cells. Unlike acute leukemia, the chronic form of the disease has a longer lifespan than diseased cells and accumulates in various parts of the body.
Leukaemia affects people of all ages. Children generally respond better to leukemia and sometimes cope better with the disease, while adults cope with cancer successfully.
Many people are diagnosed with leukaemia, regardless of their age or gender. Children tend to respond better to certain types of leukemia, while adults are more likely to cope with the disease. Chronic leukemia accounts for about 10 percent of acute leukemia patients. Adult adults are more likely to be affected by acute leukemia. About two-thirds of acute leukemia patients appear to be over 60 years of age.