ILMU PENGETAHUAN BERKENAAN LEUKEMIA.
Causes of Leukemia
The exact cause of most types of leukemia is unknown. Many patients do not exhibit any of the known risk factors, which include smoking and other tobacco use, exposure to high doses of radiation or the chemicals benzene or formaldehyde, and chemotherapy used to treat other cancers. Leukemia is not an inherited disease, but there may be a genetic link. Depending on the type of leukemia, close relatives of a person with leukemia may be up to four times as likely to develop leukemia as a person with no affected relatives. Down syndrome and certain types of blood disorders also increase the risk of developing the disease.
Symptoms and Diagnosis of Leukemia
As affected cells increase, they begin to crowd out normal cells and disable them, causing symptoms such as frequent infections, poor healing of small cuts or sores, and anemia. The leukemia cells may also collect in certain parts of the body, causing pain and swelling. Other common symptoms include: fevers and night sweats, weakness and fatigue, headaches, bruising of the skin and bleeding from the gums or rectum, joint pain, swelling in the abdomen from an enlarged spleen, swollen lymph nodes in the armpit, neck, or groin, and decreased appetite or weight loss.
If you or a relative has leukemia symptoms, a personal and family medical history will be taken, and a blood sample sent to the lab for testing. If your blood tests are abnormal, a test of bone marrow cells will be taken to confirm the diagnosis. A spinal tap (lumbar puncture) may also be ordered to determine whether leukemia cells are present in the brain or cerebrospinal fluid.
Treatment of Leukemia
Treatment depends on the type of leukemia and the stage of progression, but commonly includes one or more bone marrow transplants, radiation, and chemotherapy. Our understanding and ability to treat leukemia has come a long way in recent decades. In 1960, the 5-year survival rate for all types of leukemia was about 14%. Now it is about 50%. The highest survival rates occur in children suffering from ALL.
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