FAQ - Leukemia
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leukemia??


so, today during health class i was told that if you are eating as much as you are supposed to and still not getting energy, or sleeping the normal 7-8 hours of sleep every day, or even beyond that, and are still extremely tired during the day and have to take naps, you might have leukemia. i dont really know what leukemia is, and i havent looked it up, but i have both of these very badly. i also constantly feel sick. i have never felt 100% good in years, really. not ONE day (no exaggeration). so do you think i might have leukemia? i have not been to a doctor for about 4 years so i have no memory or information about any of this.
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hopefully you dont have leukemia. here's the news!! i do. i was detected with acute tlymphoblastic leukemia last year. my symptoms were that of anemia. easy fatigability, pale, on and off fever. then i had my blood count checked and the doctor said it was anemia so i took iron drugs. but the symptoms were still present and i was getting worse. i was being given blood transfusion almost weekly. so i went to a hematologist (they are specialists in blood disorders and theyre rare) and the moment they saw my blood results the doctor said i had leukemia. there are two main kind the lymphoblastic and myelocytic. the lymphoblastic gives very high count of lymphoblast and vice versa. during the sickness i had so many petechiae (tiny purplish red spots) all over my skin. the doctor said this was caused by release of blood from the capillaries to the surface of the body. i underwent bone marrow aspiration to determine how sick i was and to know what medication treatment is possible. bone marrow transplant is the best treatment but i cant afford it so i underwent chemotherapy wherein there is a schedule of intravenous therapy where the drugs are incorporatedand introduced to the bodythrough the vein. i also take daily oral meds. treatment takes a long time and still there is a risk of repeating itself and getting worse even if you are being treated. the brain is the worst arget of the disease. there is no assurance of being cured until after 5 years or more says the doctor.

so i hope youre just anemic and not leukemic. coz anemia is easy to treat just give iron tablets, get many rests and do not be stressed. but leukemia is very hard and costly. especially if your white blood cells have gone wild.  (+ info)

Leukemia???


Okay, I was wondering for those of you who have a sister or brother who have leukemia... what's it like? My friend's sister has leukemia, and although I will never know what its like to have a sibling who has leukemia, I just would like to take opinions about it... good or bad. Thanks.
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It's hard for siblings of kids with leukemia.The sick kid gets all the attention.When my son had it his brother and sister had to be shipped off to stay with relatives a lot. They feel left out. And scared for their brother. It was tough.  (+ info)

What is the difference between acute leukemia and chronic leukemia?


If can also include a description on AML, CML, ALL, CLL leukemia
This is for my holiday homework.
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Go to webmd.com  (+ info)

What is the difference between myelogenous and lymphocytic leukemia?


What does myelogenous leukemia affect and what does lymphocytic leukemia affect?
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erika - the 2 types of leukemia begin from different body white blood cell origins. Lymphocytic leukemia begins from white blood cells called lymphocytes or immature types of lymphocytes. It commonly affects lymph nodes in the body but can invade all body tissues. "Myelogenous" leukemia involves the other 3 common types of white blood cells known as granulocytes. They are the neutrophils, eosinophils, or basophils. They behave differently and have different methods of treatment. It normally involves the bone marrow first but can go anywhere in the body.Some are able to be cured, especially lymphocytic leukemias of childhood.  (+ info)

What happens to you after you are diagnosed with leukemia?


I am writing a story about a young girl who is diagnosed with leukemia. I need to know the effects of leukemia and what it is. Give me all the detail you can. Don't include all the scientific crap.
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My little girl had Leukemia. First, a description from faqs.org: Leukemia is caused by the overproduction of white blood cells. This has two effects on the body. First, the white blood cells may not mature properly as they develop. They may lack the ability to kill foreign bodies in the bloodstream. This defect seriously damages the immune system and the body loses its ability to fight off infections.

Second, so many white blood cells may form that they pack the bone marrow until there is not enough room for red blood cells and platelets to develop. Without red blood cells, the body's cells do not get enough oxygen, and the condition known as anemia develops. Anemia is characterized by general weakness, headache, pale skin, and dizziness. It can become a life-threatening disorder. Without platelets, blood cannot clot properly and simple injuries can lead to serious blood loss.

My daughter was diagnosed with Leukemia (specifically, Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia) when she was 6 years old.
Her symptoms were: lowgrade fever x 2 months, severe nosebleeds, bruising easily (like just from touching her arm), extreme fatigue and anemia.
They diagnosed her via a blood test - a "CBC with Manual Differential" which showed "BLASTS" in her bloodstream (the immature cells explained above). They then proceeded with a bone marrow biopsy, which both confirms the diagnosis, and tells them which kind of Leukemia they are dealing with. (There are different kinds: acute & chronic, & whether it affects granulocytes, lymphocytes, or monocytes cells.)
They then put together a chemotherapy regimen for that specific type of Leukemia. There are 3 phases, the first is the "Induction" phase in which they try to kill all the leukemia cells in the bloodstream. This phase usually lasts a month. They do blood tests and once no more leukemia cells show up in the blood, they have achieved "remission" and they proceed to phase 2, the "intensive" phase. This phase is to irradicate the leukemia cells still in the bone marrow and brain/spinal fluid. She received chemotherapy every other week, for 3 days in a row, for 6 months, via IV. She also received regular spinal taps, and injections of chemotherapy directly into the spinal fluid, (because cancer cells can hide out in the brain tissue, and the brain has natural barriers that prevent the IV chemo from entering the brain via the bloodstream.)

After 6 months, the spinal fluid is tested again, and another bone marrow aspiration is done. If no leukemia cells are found, they proceed into the 3rd Phase "Maintenance". In maintenance, they receive outpatient, lower doses of chemo by both injection and pill. This goes on for 2 years. Spinal taps and bone marrow aspirations are done regularly to make sure the leukemia cells aren't multiplying again. If they are found, they stop "maintenance" and begin all over again.

My daughter went through all three phases without a recurrence, and after that, she had to see the oncologist every other week for a blood test. After a month, we went every other week, then every month, then every 3 months for a year, and then every 6 months for another year, and then yearly until she reached age 19.

Throughout her treatment, she also received phsychological testing and we answered survey after survery about her milestones (did she get her period on time, how did it affect her learning/schoolwork, how did it affect her mentally?). These surveys help to pinpoint possible problems with chemo effects, which I am happy to say she had no long-term affects.

She is doing well and is 23 years old now.

I hope this helps!  (+ info)

How can we help a child with leukemia currently living in Greece to receive treatment in US or elsewhere?


Hi all!
Do you know of any organizations I can contact that can help an 11 year old with leukemia receive a treatment abroad? At this point they have exhausted almost all options available in Greece. The Mom is desperate to try all that she can to save her child.
I am starting my research here in hopes that someone can point me in the right direction...
Thank you all for your help!
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How long can leukemia go untreated and still be curable?


I'm writing a story in which one of the main characters will develop cancer. I was thinking of going with leukemia. How early on can you see symptoms and let it go untreated but still be curable? What are the most common symptoms? Any details would be greatly appreciated.
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Depends whether your character is a child or adult. There are many different types of leukemia, not just 4 by the way.

The most common type in childhood is Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia and this is probably the most easily treatable so if you want your character to live this might be the best bet. However acute leukemias progress much more quickly than chronic types, so if you want a good delay before symptoms appear and treatment is sought then you might want to go with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia. The problem though is that CLL and CML affect mainly adults, it is quite rare in children so may appear less believable if your character is a child.

If your main character is an adult then the chronic leukemias are the most common, Chronic Myelocytic Leukemia and Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia for example. There can often be delays in recognising symptoms and seeking treatment, and this disease may go on for years but often it changes into an acute leukemia and the patient suddenly declines and often dies.

Symptoms are many and varied but may include night sweats, fatigue, recurrent infections, headache, easy bruising, joint pains, swollen lymph nodes, unexpected weight loss and swelling of the abdomen from an enlarged spleen.

There's so much information, but I hope that helps. You can google these diseases yourself to find out more info.

Good luck with your story.  (+ info)

What happens in the blood in a patient with acute lymphocytic leukemia?


I understand the basics of leukemia. I know it happens in the bone marrow and it affects the genes and cell structures of red or white blood cells and/or platelets.

But how exactly does a person die from leukemia? Is it safe to assume that the body runs out of oxygen because the red blood cells become too abnormal to carry oxygen around the body?
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"Deb" is mostly right - but liver and kidney function problems are not as common as bone marrow failure. It is not true that the body runs out of oxygen because the red blood cells become too abnormal to carry oxygen. The red cells can still transport oxygen in acute leukemia patients

I can explain this simply for you.
The immature malignant leukemia cells reproduce without control and crowd out the normal blood cell production in the bone marrow - so red cells - platelets - and the various types of normal infection fighting white cells - cannot be produced. It's like weeds overgowing in a garden and choking out the good plants.

Roughly 2/3's of our patients die from infections because they don't have normal bacterial and fungal fighting white blood cells. We can't transfuse normal white cells effectively.

About 1/3 of patients with acute leukemia die from bleeding due to low platelets. We can transfuse platelets, but it's hard to keep up when people make none of their own.

Oxygen transport is not usually the problem - except for the acute bleeds at the end. We can transfuse red blood cells effectively.

So why can we transfuse red cells so much more effectively than platelets or white blood cells? Normal red cells last some 120 days. Platelets in healthy people last maybe 10 days at best - though transfused platelets usually only last a day or two. Bacteria and fungal infection fighting neutrophils (white blood cells) last a matter of hours. They need to be made daily by the bone marrow. It's difficult to harvest enough normal white cells from donors to transfuse and make a significant difference to help patients.

Bottom line - infections end the lives of most leukemia patients - bacterial, fungal, viral, or all of the above.  (+ info)

What is the best way to find information on leukemia?


My 7 year old cousin may have leukemia. I know there are a lot of different types and I'm sure a lot of web sites. If you know of any please let me know! Also if you have any hands on experience with the disease that would be helpful as well. My grandmother died of it this past April.
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The best way to find information for leukemia is by doing a google search. Here is a specific page on the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society website which explains leukemia and the various types:
http://www.leukemia-lymphoma.org/all_page?item_id=7026

My niece was diagnosed with high risk pre b A.L.L. (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia) at the age of 2. She has the 'good type' of leukemia if there is such a thing. Her treatment plan consisted of 2 1/2 to 3 years of chemo,steroids and an option for radiation to the brain. The treatment plans vary greatly depending on the type and subtype of leukemia, the risk factor and individual patient circumstances. It was really rough for her the first 1 1/2 years of treatment but she is doing really well now. She was admitted to the hospital for various complications including infections, pneumonia and kidney stones. She is on 'maintenance chemo' now which is much easier on her body and she is doing great and hasn't been admitted to the hospital for a number of months. Pretty soon she will be done with chemo :-)   (+ info)

What gifts can I give a child who has leukemia and is in the hopital?


My friend's 3 year old child was just diagnosed with Leukemia and is in the hospital undergoing kemotherapy. The parents are both sleeping at the hospital every night and will be there for the next several nights. I'm not sure how sterile things need to be in order for her to play with them and i don't know what the parents need. Does anyone have some suggestions for me?
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Give the parents a gift certificate to a restuarant along with a hand written one saying you will offer to babysit for the child once she is out of the hospital so they can go out. For the child a nice stuffed animal would be nice or a special pillow or blanket. Coloring books and crayons is another idea.  (+ info)

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