Leukaemia

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  • Leukaemia
    • What is it?
      • Leukaemia is cancer of the blood cells
      • It starts in the bone marrow, the soft tissue inside most bones.
      • Bone marrow is where blood cells are made
      • When you healthy your bone marrow makes:
        • White blood cells, which help your body fight infection.
        • Red blood cells, which carry oxygen to all parts of your body.
        • Platelets, which help your blood clot.
      • When you have leukaemia the bone marrow starts to make abnormal white blood cells called leukaemia cells
        • They don't do the work of normal white blood cells, they grow faster than normal cells and they don't stop growing when they should.
          • Over time leukaemia cells can crowd out the normal blood cells.
            • This can lead to serious problems such as anaemia, bleeding and infections.
              • Leukaemia cells can also spread to the lymph nodes and other organs and cause swelling and pain.
    • Types
      • Acute leukaemia
        • Acute leukaemia gets worse very fast and make you feel sick right away
        • Lymphocytic leukaemia affects whit blood cells called lymphocytes.
        • Myelogenous leukaemia affects white blood cells called myelocytes.
      • Chronic leukaemia
        • Chronic leukaemia gets worse slowly and may not cause symptoms for years
        • Lymphocytic leukaemia affects whit blood cells called lymphocytes.
        • Myelogenous leukaemia affects white blood cells called myelocytes.
      • Four main types:
        • Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL)
          • Most common in children
        • Acute myelogenous leukaemia (AML)
          • Most common in adults
          • Can also affect children.
        • Chronic lymphoblastic leukaemia (CLL)
          • Most common in adults
        • Chronic myelogenous leukaemia (CML)
    • Causes and risks
      • Risk:Were exposed to large amounts of radiation
      • Risk: were exposed to certain chemicals at work, such as benzene.
      • Risk: had previous chemotherapy to treat another cancer.
      • Risk:Have down syndrome or some other genetic problems
      • Risk: smoke
    • Symptoms
      • Fever and night sweats
      • Headaches
      • Bruising or bleeding easily
      • Bone or joint pain
      • A swollen or painful stomach due to enlarged spleen
      • Swollen lymph nodes in the armpit, neck or groin
      • Getting a lot of infections
      • Feeling very tired or weak.
      • Losing weight and not feeling hungry
    • Diagnosis by GP
      • Ask questions about past health and symptoms
      • Look for swollen lymph nodes and check to see if your liver or spleen is enlarged
      • Blood tests
        • If normal do a bone marrow biopsy
          • Look at cells from inside your bone.
    • Treatment
      • Acute leukaemia
        • quick treatment to stop rapid growth
          • Makes leukaemia go into remission
      • Chronic leukaemia
        • Rarely cured but can be controlled
        • Chronic lymphocytic
          • No need for treatment until symptoms
        • Chronic myelogenous
          • Treated right away
  • When you healthy your bone marrow makes:
    • White blood cells, which help your body fight infection.
    • Red blood cells, which carry oxygen to all parts of your body.
    • Platelets, which help your blood clot.
  • Chronic leukaemia gets worse slowly and may not cause symptoms for years

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