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Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia -

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia is leukemia that progresses rapidly and aggressively. It is a type of cancer of the blood and bone marrow which needs immediate treatment.

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia is a type of leukemia that develops from an abnormal white blood cell known as lymphocytes in the central nervous system. It invades the blood and can spread throughout the body. Unlike other types of cancer, it does not produce a tumor but it is very fatal.

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia Causes

The exact cause of this condition is unknown but most leukemia occurs when the bone marrow cell develops an error on its DNA. This error allows the cell to grow and divide abnormally. These cells are unable to function properly. The build-up and crowd out healthy cells. The mutation causes the DNA to remain unknown. However, there are some factors that may increase the risk of developing this type of illness. These are:

Symptoms of Acute lymphoblastic leukemia

The most common symptoms are:

  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Easily bruised skin
  • Night sweat
  • Pale skin
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Abdominal pain
  • Bone and joint pain
  • High temperature
  • Unusual bleeding
  • Fatigue
  • Breathless
  • Dizziness
  • Seizures
  • Blurred vision
  • Headache
  • Vomiting

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia Diagnosis

Diagnosing this condition includes:

  • Checking for a physical sign of these conditions like swollen lymph nodes
  • A blood test to reveal the number of white blood cells and the presence of blast cells
  • Bone marrow biopsy to check for cancerous cells
  • An imaging test such as CT scan and X-ray to determine whether cancer has spread to other parts of the body
  • Polymerase chain reaction or PCR
  • Lymph Node Biopsy

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia Treatment

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia treatment includes:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Targeted Therapy
  • Radiation Therapy
  • Clinical Trials
  • Bone marrow and stem cells transplant

Medications are given to help improve the effectiveness of chemotherapy such as:

  • Imatinib– to block the signals of the cancer cells that causes them to grow
  • Dasatinib– to block the protein of the cancer cells that stimulated their abnormal growth

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia Complications

Complications of Acute lymphoblastic leukemia include:

  • You are vulnerable to developing infections that may increase your risk of serious illnesses
  • Bleeding due to the low levels of platelets in the blood
  • Infertility especially to those who have received high doses of chemotherapy and radiation
  • Depression, stress, and anxiety