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Leukemia is a type of blood cancer that begins in the bone marrow – the soft tissue in the center of the bones, where blood cells are produced. Leukemia leads to an uncontrolled increase in the number of white blood cells. Cancerous cells prevent healthy red cells, platelets and mature white cells (leukocytes) from being made. Leukemia can be acute, progressing quickly; or chronic, progressing more slowly. The different types of leukemia are:

  • Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL)
  • Acute myelogenous leukemia (AML)
  • Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)
  • Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML)
  • Hairy cell leukemia

Leukemia Symptoms

  • Bone and joint pain
  • Easy bruising and bleeding (such as bleeding gums, skin bleeding, nosebleeds, abnormal periods)
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss
  • Paleness
  • Pain or feeling of fullness below the ribs from a swollen spleen
  • Swollen glands in the neck, under arms and groin
  • Night sweats
  • Shortness of breath (gets worse with exercise)
  • Skin rash or lesion

Leukemia Diagnosis

  • Blood tests and CBC (complete blood count)
  • Bone marrow biopsy
  • Platelet count

Leukemia Treatment