Blood cell cancer is also called leukemia. Blood cells have broad categories and include, WBCs (white blood cells), platelets and RBCs (red blood cells). Leukemia generally implies white blood cell cancer. WBCs are essential components of the immune system. They defend the body from invading viruses, fungi and bacteria in addition to foreign substances and abnormal cells.
When affected with leukemia, the WBCs become abnormal in their functioning. They rapidly divide and over grow the normal cells. WBCs are generally formed in the marrow of the bones, but few WBC types are even produced in the spleen, thymus gland and lymph nodes. Once they have been created, WBCs travel throughout the body in the lymph and blood, having a greater concentration in the spleen and lymph nodes.
The leukemia onset may be chronic or acute in nature. The cancerous cell rapidly multiply in acute type of leukemia. The disease gradually progresses in case of chronic leukemia and the initial symptoms might be quite mild. The cell’s type can also be the basis of classification for leukemia. Leukemia having myeloid cells or myelogenous leukemia is very severe. Monocytes or granulocytes are formed from immature cells or myeloid cells. Lymphocytic leukemia involves lymphocytes.
Leukaemia is a medical condition that begins in the bone marrow and lymphatic system of the human body. The disease starts when there is an abnormal and rapid growth of leukaemia cells in the bone marrow that soon crowd out the other normal blood cells in the bone marrow.
Consequently, leukaemia cells disrupt the release of normal blood cells in the bloodstream. This leads to a decline in the supply of oxygen to different organs and tissues. All this makes the body prone to bouts of infection and blood clots.
Leukaemia is believed to occur due to the mutation in the DNA of some blood cells. However, the factors that lead to this mutation are yet to be fully understood. Leukaemia normally occurs when immature white blood cells (leukaemia cells) begin to multiply rapidly and overcrowd the normal and healthy blood cells in the bone marrow and bloodstream.
This leads to a decline in the number of healthy white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets. All these factors combined together contribute to the signs and symptoms of leukaemia.
The major types of leukaemia are:
Signs and symptoms of leukemia:
When there is cancer in the blood-forming tissues of the body including the lymphatic system and bone marrow, it is termed as leukemia. There exist various types of leukemia out of which some are more common in children than in adults.
White blood cells are extremely important for fighting against infections. As per the needs of the body, the white blood cells grow and divide. However, if abnormal production of white blood cells occurs, then the person suffers from leukemia for which the treatment can be complex.
Based on the type of leukemia the symptoms may vary. Some of the common signs and symptoms of leukemia are:
It is important to note that not all cases of childhood leukaemia will not exhibit the aforementioned symptoms. This is because the symptoms of childhood anaemia vary owing to multiple factors. Also, most of the symptoms mentioned above are common and may not necessarily indicate childhood leukaemia.
Besides the symptoms, there are certain other risk factors that are believed to be linked to an increased risk of childhood leukaemia. Some of those risk factors are:
To get a more detailed assessment of your child’s health condition, you should consult a physician or a paediatrician who will carry out certain tests and assessments before diagnosing the condition.
Scientists have not been able to diagnose the exact cause of leukemia until now. A person might suffer from this condition because of environmental and genetic factors. For example, if a person is exposed to certain chemicals like benzene, found in gasoline then he/she might suffer from leukemia. Similarly, those who smoke are more likely to have leukemia. If a person has a family history of leukemia, then the risk is also increased.
Leukaemia, commonly known as blood cancer, is a medical condition that affects the bone marrow and lymphatic system in the human body. Normally, the blood-forming cells (hematopoietic stem cells) in bone marrow develop into myeloid cells or lymphoid cells. These cells further develop into Red Blood Cells (RBCs), White Blood Cells (WBCs) and Platelets.
However, leukaemia triggers an uncontrolled and rapid growth of leukaemia cells (immature white blood cells) in the bone marrow. Leukaemia cells begin to overcrowd the bone marrow and leave little space for other normal cells (RBCs, WBCs and platelets).
This causes an increase in the number of leukaemia cells in the bloodstream and decline in the number of normal blood cells. As a result, the supply of oxygen to different organs and tissues in the body is severely restricted and the likelihood of infections and blood clots increases significantly.
The physician will ask a person to undergo certain tests in order to look for signs of leukaemia. Some of the tests that you might be asked to undergo include:
The treatment for the patient is determined based on the type of leukemia, overall health, and age of the person. The extent of the spread of cancer cells to other parts of the body is also taken into consideration. Some of the common treatments which can be given to fight leukemia are given below:
However, the most important of all these factors that affect long term survival are age and type of leukaemia.
Taking treatment for leukemia also causes side effects which may be seen in the patient during the course of medication or in the later stage. Common side effects are:
The risk of developing leukemia can be reduced by doing the following things:
It is not possible to cure leukaemia with food. However, good nutrition does play an important part in healing body and boosting recovery from leukaemia. You can incorporate the below mentioned dietary practices in your daily lifestyle while fighting leukaemia:
Besides following the abovementioned practices, you should also engage in regular physical activity, drink plenty of water, get enough sleep, quit smoking (if you do) and limit stress.
According to Ayurveda, leukemia occurs because of three types of doshas Kaphas, Vata, and Pitta. The major role of ayurvedic treatment is to treat these doshas. The treatment offered by Ayurveda aims to detoxify the entire body with the help of diet and herbs.
The herbs are used for the efficient circulation of blood and cleansing action. They also eliminate the toxins from the body and improves overall immunity. Some of the herbal remedies which can be used for the treatment of leukemia are Tulsi capsules, Ashwagandha capsules, Curcumin capsules and Guggul capsules.