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How Is Leukemia Caused?

Leukemia and blood cancer discussion.

How Is Leukemia Caused?

Postby Shilo » Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:46 pm

Leukemia or leukaemia (Greek leukos ??????, "white"; aima ????, "blood") is a cancer of the blood or bone marrow and is characterized by an abnormal proliferation (production by multiplication) of blood cells, usually white blood cells (leukocytes). Leukemia is a broad term covering a spectrum of diseases. In turn, it is part of the even broader group of diseases called hematological neoplasms.

Classification

Leukemia is clinically and pathologically subdivided into several large groups. The first division is between its acute and chronic forms:

Acute leukemia is characterized by the rapid increase of immature blood cells. This crowding makes the bone marrow unable to produce healthy blood cells. Acute forms of leukemia can occur in children and young adults. (In fact, it is a more common cause of death for children in the US than any other type of malignant disease). Immediate treatment is required in acute leukemias due to the rapid progression and accumulation of the malignant cells, which then spill over into the bloodstream and spread to other organs of the body. Central nervous system (CNS) involvement is uncommon, although the disease can occasionally cause cranial nerve palsies.


Chronic leukemia is distinguished by the excessive build up of relatively mature, but still abnormal, blood cells. Typically taking months or years to progress, the cells are produced at a much higher rate than normal cells, resulting in many abnormal white blood cells in the blood. Chronic leukemia mostly occurs in older people, but can theoretically occur in any age group. Whereas acute leukemia must be treated immediately, chronic forms are sometimes monitored for some time before treatment to ensure maximum effectiveness of therapy.


Additionally, the diseases are subdivided according to which kind of blood cell is affected. This split divides leukemias into lymphoblastic or lymphocytic leukemias and myeloid or myelogenous leukemias:

In lymphoblastic or lymphocytic leukemias, the cancerous change took place in a type of marrow cell that normally goes on to form lymphocytes.


In myeloid or myelogenous leukemias, the cancerous change took place in a type of marrow cell that normally goes on to form red cells, some types of white cells, and platelets.

Causes and risk factors

There is no single known cause for all of the different types of leukemia. The different leukemias likely have different causes, and very little is certain about what causes them. Researchers have strong suspicions about four possible causes:

natural or artificial ionizing radiation

certain kinds of chemicals

some viruses

genetic predispositions

Leukemia, like other cancers, results from somatic mutations in the DNA which activate oncogenes or deactivate tumor suppressor genes, and disrupt the regulation of cell death, differentiation or division. These mutations may occur spontaneously or as a result of exposure to radiation or carcinogenic substances and are likely to be influenced by genetic factors. Cohort and case-control studies have linked exposure to petrochemicals, such as benzene, and hair dyes to the development of some forms of leukemia.

Viruses have also been linked to some forms of leukemia. For example, certain cases of ALL are associated with viral infections by either the human immunodeficiency virus or human T-lymphotropic virus (HTLV-1 and -2, causing adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma). However, a CNN Health report says children may be offered limited protection against leukemia by exposure to certain germs.

Fanconi anemia is also a risk factor for developing acute myelogenous leukemia.

Until the cause or causes of leukemia are found, there is no way to prevent the disease. Even when the causes become known, they may not be readily controllable, such as naturally occurring background radiation, and therefore not especially helpful for prevention purposes.
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How Is Leukemia Caused?

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How Is Leukemia Caused?

Postby MacAuslan » Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:50 pm

Experts do not yet know what causes leukemia. There may be some cause factors such as:

Smoking and tobacco use.


Being exposed to large amounts of radiation.


Being exposed to certain chemicals in the workplace.


Go online and you will find a lot of information.
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How Is Leukemia Caused?

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