Leukemia: What You Need to Know

Leukemia is a type of cancer that affects the blood and bone marrow. It is caused by an abnormal increase in white blood cells. Leukemia can affect people of all ages, including children, however, it is most common among adults over the age of 65. Leukemia is the most common type of blood cancer in the United States.

Leukemia is divided into four main types: acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). The exact cause of leukemia is unknown, but some factors may increase the risk of developing this type of cancer, such as genetics, being exposed to radiation or chemotherapy, as well as certain infections.

Symptoms of leukemia include:

  • Frequent infections
  • Fever and night sweats
  • Weight loss, fatigue, and pale skin
  • Swollen or tender lymph nodes
  • Easy bruising or bleeding
  • Bone, joint or abdominal pain

Treatment for leukemia depends on the type and how advanced it is. It typically involves chemotherapy, radiation, and/or targeted therapy. In some cases, a bone marrow or stem cell transplant may be recommended. It is important to discuss your case with your doctor, as they will be able to recommend the best course of action for you.

There are many organizations that are dedicated to raising awareness about leukemia and providing support for those who have been diagnosed. It is important to seek out support from both medical professionals and the leukemia community for more information or advice about the best treatment options.