Leukemia is cancer of the blood cells. Most blood cells form in the bone marrow. In Leukemia, cancerous blood cells form and crowd out the healthy blood cells in the bone marrow. Leukemia occurs most often in adults older than 55 years and it is the most common cancer in children younger than 15 years. Leukemia is either acute or chronic. Acute leukemia is a fast-growing cancer that usually gets worse quickly. Chronic leukemia is a slower-growing cancer that gets worse slowly over time.
HOW IS LEUKEMIA DIAGNOSED?
An oncology specialist who suspects leukaemia may check for enlarged lymph nodes in your neck, groin or underarms. Complete blood count and blood chemistry is done as well as bone marrow aspiration test and biopsy. If blood tests confirm leukaemia, the type of leukaemia is diagnosed with special tests in order to plan the course of treatment.
HOW IS LEUKEMIA TREATED?
Treatment is based on your general health, extent of spread of the cancer and your age. The goal of treatment is to destroy the leukaemia cells. Induction therapy using chemotherapy and corticosteroids is initiated and is followed by consolidation therapy and lastly, maintenance therapy.