Leukaemia

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Define leukaemia
Leukaemia is a cancer of the white blood cells. There are two types of leukaemia: chronic and acute. Chronic develops over a long period of time and acute develops rapidly.
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Where are the white blood cells produced?
In the bone marrow
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What three things does bone marrow contain and what do they do?
Red blood cells which carry oxygen around the body; platelets which help the blood clot and control bleeding and white blood cells which help fight infection.
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What are the two different types of blood cells?
Lymphocytes and myeloid cells
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How do white blood cells work normally?
Reproduce themselves in an orderly & controlled way
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What happens to someone's white blood cells when they have leukaemia?
Process of cell division gets out of control & the cells continue to divide and don't mature. The immature cells keep dividing and fill up the bone marrow & stop it from making healthy blood cells.
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Give four causes of leukaemia
Genetic mutation to the structure of the DNA, stem cells provide more white blood cells than needed, white blood cells are immature and don't have the infection fighting properties, fall in the no. of red blood cells.
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Does chronic leukaemia occur more in adults or children?
Adults, it's extremely rare in children.
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Give four symptoms of leukaemia
Frequent infections, excessive or easy bruising/ bleeding, wounds slow to heal, weight loss/ loss of appetite.
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What is the main aim of treatment?
To destroy the leukaemia cells & enable the bone marrow to work normally again.
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What is the main treatment?
Several rounds of chemotherapy.
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What is post- remission treatment?
When there are no signs of leukaemia in the blood or bone marrow, further treatment is often given. The treatment involves 2 or 3 more courses of chemo.
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When are bone marrow/ stem cell transplants used?
Usually only used with AM2 that is likely to come back following the standard treatment
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When is radiotherapy used and targeted?
It is targeted to the brain if the cancer is thought to have spread there.
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Give four side effects of treatment
Hair loss, reduction in the no. of blood cells produced by he bone marrow causing anaemia, loss of appetite, feeling/ being sick.
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Give two late side effects of treatment
Problems with puberty & fertility, a change in the way their heart works
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Give three lifestyle changes patients will have to think about making
Having high calorie/ high protein drinks if they are finding it hard to eat, gentle exercise, they may need to adjust their working hours or activities.
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Give two physical impacts of having leukaemia
Limited physical activity, pain in joints and bones
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Give two intellectual impacts of having leukaemia
Not going to school or work, lack of concentration
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Give two emotional impacts of having leukaemia
Worried/ anxious, counselling from support groups eg. macmillan
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Give two social impacts of having leukaemia
Becoming isolated from friends and family, missing out on social interaction from school/ work
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Give two financial impacts of having leukaemia
May have to give up or take lots of time off work, hospital car parking charges
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

Where are the white blood cells produced?

Back

In the bone marrow

Card 3

Front

What three things does bone marrow contain and what do they do?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

What are the two different types of blood cells?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

How do white blood cells work normally?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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