Leukemia Definition, Signs, Symptoms And Treatment

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Definition:  Leukemia is a disease characterized by a marked ( irregular ) increase in the number of WBCs in the bone marrow with the replacement of normal marrow elements.

Leukemia is a cancer of the blood or blood-forming cells (and therefore sometimes referred to as blood cancer)

These WBCs are immature thus they cannot combat infection.

The increased production of WBCs is accompanied by decreased production of RBCs and platelets.

What is the first sign of leukemia?

Weakness, fatigue, bleeding tendencies, petechiae, ecchymosis, vomiting, fever, and infection.

What is the main cause of leukemia? :

Idiopathic, genetic, viral infection, boon marrow damage, radiation, and chemicals.

What are the most common types of leukemia?

1- Acute myelogenous (AML) affects the bone marrow, increase immature myelogenous.

2- Acute lymphatic ( ALL ) increased number of lymphocytes.

The onset of the signs and symptoms :

Onset might be sudden or may occur over a period of several months.

Signs and symptoms include:

1- The tendency for infection.

2- Anaemia.

A normal level in women is 12 grams per deciliter of blood (g/DL), in men, it’s 15g/DL

3- Fever.

The average normal body temperature is 98.6°F (37°C).

4- Lymph node enlargement.

What is the most common treatment for leukemia?

  • Chemotherapy.
  • Bone marrow transplantation in high-quality hospitals.
  • RBCs and platelets transfusion.

the risk of transmitting viral diseases by blood transfusion had dropped. This is the result of a multi-layered approach to safety Today different tests are performed on each unit of blood donated for the following infectious diseases:

  • HIV-1 and HIV-2
  • Hepatitis B and C
  • Syphilis
  • Human T lymphocytotropic viruses (HTLV-1 and HTLV-2)
  • cytomegalovirus (CMV) and West Nile virus Sometimes they are screened within the tests.

Chronic Leukemia:

Two types:

1-Chronic lymphocytic ( CLL).

2- Chronic myelogenous ( CML).

Onset and signs and symptoms :

– Insidious ( gradual ) onset .

– Signs and symptoms the same as acute leukemia.

Management should take into consideration the following :

1- Watch for bleeding.

signs and symptoms of bleeding

A headache.
Stiff neck.
Stroke symptoms (vision loss, weakness, and slurred speech).
Shortness of breath.
Low blood pressure.
Blood in the stool.

2- Monitor vital signs especially temperature .

The average normal body temperature is 98.6°F (37°C).

3- Take careful care of the skin.

4- Provide gentile mouth care, (be careful not to cause bleeding).

5- Protect the patient from infection by means of isolation.

6- Watch for drug toxicity.

dizziness, nausea, stomach pains, vomiting, and hand tremors, ataxia, muscle twitches, slurred speech, seizures, coma, and skin rash

7- Provide a blood transfusion.

blood transfusion was used to maintain a blood hemoglobin concentration above 10 g/dL.

8- Good nutrition and replacement of minerals and electrolytes lost from the body in advanced stages.

9-It is good to use vitamins as prescribed.

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