Leukemia is cancer of the blood, which is caused by having excessive white blood cells. This occurs when the bone marrow generates abnormal white blood cells, called leukemic cells. By operating abnormally, these leukemic cells eventually take over the good white blood cells, the platelets, and the red blood cells.
There are several symptoms of Leukemia including: high fevers, infections, bruises, exhaustion, swollen abdomen or lymph nodes, loss of appetite, joint pain, and headaches.
Since Leukemia is not a hereditary disease, there are no particular causes for Leukemia. It can be caused by smoking, extreme contact to radiation, or chemotherapy used as treatment for an existing cancer.
If symptoms of Leukemia occur, a doctor will normally take a physical of the patient’s body and take samples of the blood. If any abnormality occurs in the blood test, a biopsy of the bone marrow will be performed.
Once diagnosed, Leukemia can be treated by chemotherapy and radiation which will kill the leukemia cells. The amount of radiation or chemotherapy is determined by the stage and severity of the cancer. Bone marrow transplant is also an option.