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Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Acute lymphocytic leukemia, also known as ALL, is a form of cancer that affects your blood and bone marrow. Blood and bone marrow is the soft, spongy tissue located inside of your bones and the place where blood cells are produced. The disease moves rapidly while creating immature blood cells, which is why it is referred to as acute. This is the most common type of cancer that children will develop and early onset treatments give the child a good chance of success. It can also occur in adults, though it is much rarer than with children.

Symptoms of Acute lymphocytic leukemia

A wide range of signs and symptoms may lead a physician to checking a child for acute lymphocytic leukemia. These include bone pain, fever, gum bleeding, frequent infections or nosebleeds, swollen lymph nodes in the neck, abdomen, groin or underarm, very pale skin, shortness of breath, and weakness or fatigue from a decrease in energy. If your child is showing any of these signs, they should be checked for the possibility of acute lymphocytic leukemia. The faster you can stat treatments, the higher chance of success your child will have. Some signs of ALL are similar to those of the flu, those with a flu these will diminish and disappear over time. If after a while the symptoms don’t seem to be lessening, a doctor examination will be in order.

Causes of Acute lymphocytic leukemia

It is unclear why some children get this disease while others don’t, but it is known that the cancer is caused from immature blood cells in the bone marrow. A normal blood cell will stop dividing and die while immature ones continue dividing and growing. They can’t develop properly and eventually crowd the healthy cells. Some children may be at a higher risk of getting acute lymphocytic leukemia including those with previous cancer treatments such as radiation or chemotherapy, being exposed to high levels of radiation, genetic disorders like down syndrome, and having a sibling with ALL.

Treating Acute lymphocytic leukemia

A variety of treatment phases can help someone recover from acute lymphocytic leukemia including induction therapy to kill the leukemia cells, consolidation therapy which destroys remaining leukemia, maintenance therapy for preventing the regrowth of leukemia cells, and other treatments like preventative treatment to the spinal cord, chemo therapy, radiation therapy, drug therapy, and stem cell transplant. The type of treatment needed and whether or not it is successful will depend on a variety of factors including how severe the leukemia if, if the cells respond, and whether or not they re-from following the first few phases of treatment.
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