Leukemia “You have to realize that every well person is a miracle
“You have to realize that every well person is a miracle, it takes billions of cells to make up a person, and it will only take one cell to be bad to destroy the whole person”, said Barbara Bush with one of her past interviews.
Leukemia, a blood disorder, is a type of cancer that has taken the lives of thousands of people around the world. Leukemia is a type of cancer that begins in the stem cell of the bone marrow that makes a blood cell. This type of cancer is not contagious nor inherited, it occurs when there is a genetic change in a single white blood. Leukemia is found in the blood cell and cannot divide or spread like somatic cells do. White blood cells are part of the immune system where it helps fight off infections. There are three types of blood cells that get out of control and produced the white cells. When these cells in the bone split uncontrollably, they start to form the white blood cells, leading to leukemia cancer. However, this genetic change causes the white blood cells to duplicate at a very high rate. Back in the day, leukemia was incurable due to the deficiency of research. Today, there’s now treatments for this disease.
Leukemia has been around for thousands of years. It was said that on June 5 ,The New York Times article, described the disease and its condition. Rudolf Virchow mention this disease in 1845 and in 1847 he gave the name to it, but wasn’t the first one to describe leukemia. However, Alfred Velpeau, a 63-year-old French physician was the first man to provide accurate information on a leukemia case. In 1827, Velpeau autopsied the body of a man who had expericend, fever, pain, weakness in his body, pus-filled blood, and spleen that weighted 10 Ib. Through several cases, in 1845 a Scottish physician also found a man autopsies’ whose liver and spleen weighted 11 Ib. Velpeau concluded that the patient’s blood was abnormal. “When Velpeau first peered through his microscope in 1827 at his “globules of pus in the blood,” he was actually seeing leukemia, a disease name given by Virchow in 1847. The fevers, headaches, engorged glands, and swollen organs that those French, German and Scottish patients had developed, and the cause of Marie Curie’s death, were leukemia.” A person with no sign of leukemia will show more red blood cells than white blood cells. People who died quickly most likely had acute leukemia as supposed to those who lived longer and had chronic leukemia. Till this day, scientist have studies going on to gather as much information as possible to avoid people from suffering.
Blood is essential for our bodies, because it helps circulate from the heart to all the part of the body. Their several categories of blood cells, including red, white and platelets blood cells that are produced in the bone marrow. There is approximately 25 billion red blood cells that circulate through an adult’s body. These cells contain a polypeptide called hemoglobin that transport oxygen to different parts of the body. Red blood cells are responsible for carrying oxygen to the body. Fewer red blood cells mean that the body does not get enough oxygen, causing the person to feel fragile and tired. Just like blood is important to our bodies, oxygen is essential to the human being, because without it we will die or not even move a muscle. Platelets, are tiny, disk-shaped particles that form clots to stop bleeding, known as thrombocytes. As a result, people who suffer from this bleed to death from a very small cut. White blood cells is most known as leukocytes which protects the body from bacteria and infections. Leukemia is generated by immature white blood cells that do not protect the body from foreign invaders. When a person has healthy cells they tend to divide and make more copies in a control matter. On the other hand, when irregular cells divide such as the white blood cells and make copies of themselves without any reason, it leads to leukemia.
“Leukemia is cancer of the body’s blood-forming tissues, including the bone marrow and the lymphatic system. Many types of leukemia exist. Some forms of leukemia are more common in children. Other forms of leukemia occur mostly in adults.” When a person has normal white blood cells they are eligible to fight infections unlike a person with leukemia. “Your white blood cells are potent infection fighters — they normally grow and divide in an orderly way, as your body needs them. But in people with leukemia, the bone marrow produces abnormal white blood cells, which don’t function properly.” Because of this, people with leukemia tend to feel fever or chills, frequent or severe infections, losing weight without trying, easy bleeding or bruising, excessive sweating, especially at night or bone pain or tenderness. All this symptoms may vary depending on the person, but is of extreme of importance to get a checkup if this symptoms get presented.
Exposure to radiation, x-rays machines, toxic chemicals or waste materials, and viruses are environmental factors that increases the risk of leukemia. Today, doctors are more careful when doing x-rays, because there’s more probability to attract cancer. Certain lights, or chemicals can generate signs of leukemia.
Through centuries, scientist can’t understand the exact cause of leukemia, but it seems that it develops from a series of genetic and environmental factors. In general, leukemia can be identified when the blood cell acquire mutations in the DNA. Abnormalities causes the cell to grow and divide more faster, infecting the rest of the health blood cells, causing fewer healthy cells forming, leukemia.
When specialist treat the patient’s behavior cell, there can be positive and negative outcomes all depending in that particular person. Every leukemia patient is different as there is 4 main types of leukemia: Acute myeloid leukemia (AML), Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) ,Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). “The primary differences between the four main types of leukemia have to do with their rates of progression and where the cancer develops.”Chronic” leukemia cells do not mature all the way, so they are not as capable of defending against infections as normal lymphocytes. “Acute” leukemia cells begin to replicate before any immune functions have developed.”
Numerous signs and indications of AML are the result of a deficiency of ordinary blood cells, which happens when the leukemia cells swarm out the typical blood cells in the bone marrow. As a result, individuals do not have sufficient ruddy blood cells, white blood cells, nor blood platelets. These deficiencies appear up on blood tests, and they can cause severe effects. Patients with leukemia have low number of platelets, for this reason, they have to be careful when they have small cuts in their bodies ,because they can bleed out.
However, chemotherapy is one of the factors to treat leukemia but also a method that can kill many normal cells. This is the reason many people get side effects such as the loss of hair, vomiting and even loss of appetite. Chemotherapy treatment is a form to prevent the disease from recurring. This is a process of four stages, until the disease is completely off. The first phase is called, Remission Induction, which is designed to kill the cells. In this stage, it is said that it’s the most painful, as patients are given large doses of anticancer drugs to kill as many leukemia cells as possible. The second phase is the, Central Nervous System Directed Therapy, which kills the cancer cell in the central nervous system and stops it from spreading in the spinal fluid. After that, they are in the Consolidation/ Intensification stage which they are now in remission. “It’s designed to kill remaining leukemic cells that may be inactive but could begin growing again and cause the leukemia to recur. This phase usually lasts several months.” Finally, the maintenance phase, is very important as it’s treated the last two or three years. It is designed to kill any remaining cells that can reappear in the future. Even though, sometimes it presents no signs of leukemia, medications are often given at lower doses.
“Radiation therapy for leukemia may be used to destroy leukemia cells, or to relieve pain or discomfort caused by an enlarged liver or spleen, or swollen lymph nodes. It can also help to treat pain from bone damage caused by leukemia cells growing in the bone marrow. Also, radiation therapy is sometimes given in low doses just before a stem cell transplant.” Radiation is another factor which can kill off white blood cells in the bone marrow. Even though there’s a lot of ways to prevent leukemia, people can still die from it. Scientist and doctors are trying to find better ways to cure it and discover why leukemia is developed.
It’s preferable that people who present any kind of symptoms, get checked as quickly as possible because if the disease gets detected early, people can most likely survive the battle. Doctors can diagnose leukemia through laboratory test. Once they have examined the bone marrow, they are able to determine the proper treatment for each patient.
To every leukemia patient, the battle will never be easy, but we all can. Leukemia takes months or even years for a patient to be fully cured. However, physicians are trying every day to come up with more efficient ways to stop the patient from suffering, and finding ways for the red blood cell to defend itself.