Leukemia 101: What You Need to Know About
By Mansi Aggarwal
Cancer in any form is a deadly disease. But when it affects the most vital components of the body then their
fatality increases manifold. One such type of cancer is cancer of the blood, technically known as leukemia. Blood
is the most important tissue of the body. It is the connective tissue which carries and supplies oxygen and other
vital elements to the remotest parts of the body. The importance of blood can be understood by the fact that it is
the most important of all the connective tissues which provide the nutrients and other vital elements to the
The most dangerous feature of leukemia is that it is related to the blood which has access to almost all body
organs including the all important brain and heart. The incidence of cancerous cells being carried to the different
parts of the body increases drastically due to this fact. Another striking aspect of the blood cancer is that it
affects the leukocytes or the “white blood corpuscles” of the blood. These are the ones that protect the body from
external infections. Thus the immunity of the body is seen to decrease drastically due to leukemia. The main effect
of the disease is that the body starts producing infected and abnormal cells that hinder the function of blood i.e.
carrying of oxygen.
A patient suffering from leukemia is seen to loose weight due to anemia. This happens because the cancerous
cells are unable to carry the hemoglobin properly which is the chief source of iron to the body. And due to that
the body looses all vitality. The situation of the patient becomes vulnerable because the brain also starts to
dysfunction due to infected blood. Headache, night sweats etc. can be commonly seen to occur as an attachment to
this deadly disease.
The people living in areas prone to radioactive waste disposal and activity are most common targets of leukemia.
Overexposure to radioactivity causes the cells to mutate and function abnormally. The children who are diagnosed
with Down syndrome have a high probability to develop leukemia. Over exposure to Benzene, the industrially
important hydrocarbon is also a known cause of blood cancer. The abnormal cells are easily detected under the
microscope. Thus the doctor suspicious of such a disease advises the patient for a bone marrow examination. The
onset can be detected by the swollen lymph nodes of the body which are commonly found in armpits, around the neck
and at the thigh.
Chemotherapy is the most effective but a very painful way of killing the cancerous cells. The patient is
subjected to drugs orally. The patient undergoes tremendous pressure as he is injected with lot many chemicals at a
time. Another treatment is through the radiation. It is also very treacherous way of getting treated. The patients
are seen to loose hair and texture of skin.
Leukemia though very dangerous is still curable and the research in the field is also being done on an extensive
basis. Proper treatment at the right time can prevent the reflux of this disease. Methods like bone marrow
transplant, which may be required at a later stage, are also effective in treating the patient. Above all to over
come with the disease a person needs to be loved and supported by all. Leukemia is fatal disease but life is
mightier then it.
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