Leukemia

This cancer forms in blood-forming tissue, such as the bone marrow, and causes large numbers of abnormal blood cells to be produced and enter the bloodstream.

Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL)

Symptoms:

  • Fevers or night sweats
  • Frequent infections
  • Feeling weak or tired
  • Headaches
  • Bleeding and bruising easily (bleeding gums, purplish patches in the skin or tiny red spots under the skin)
  • Pain in the bones or joints
  • Swelling or discomfort in the abdomen (from an enlarged spleen)
  • Swollen lymph nodes, especially in the neck or armpit
  • Weight loss

Treatment:

Depending on the type and extent of the disease, patients may have chemotherapy, biological therapy, radiation therapy, or bone marrow transplantation. If the patient’s spleen is enlarged, the doctor may suggest surgery to remove it. Some patients receive a combination of treatments.

People with acute leukemia need to be treated right away. The goal of treatment is to bring about a remission. Then, when signs and symptoms have disappeared, additional treatment may be necessary to prevent a relapse. Many people with acute leukemia can be cured.

Chronic leukemia patients who do not have symptoms may not require immediate treatment. The doctor may suggest watchful waiting for some patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Treatment will begin if symptoms occur or worsen and can often control the disease and its symptoms. However, chronic leukemia can seldom be cured. Patients may receive maintenance therapy to help keep the cancer in remission.

 

Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML)

Symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath
  • Easy bruising or bleeding
  • Petechiae (flat, pinpoint spots under the skin caused by bleeding)
  • Weakness or feeling tired
  • Weight loss or loss of appetite

Treatment:

Different treatments are available for patients with acute myeloid leukemia, including clinical trials of new treatments for patients with cancer.

Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL)

Symptoms:

  • Painless swelling of the lymph nodes in the neck, underarm, stomach or groin
  • Feeling very tired
  • Pain or fullness below the ribs
  • Fever and infection
  • Weight loss for no known reason

Treatment:

Different treatments are available for patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia, including clinical trials of new treatments for patients with cancer.

Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML)

Symptoms:

  • Feeling very tired
  • Weight loss for no known reason
  • Night sweats
  • Fever
  • Pain or a feeling of fullness below the ribs on the left side

Treatment:

Different treatments are available for patients with chronic myelogenous leukemia, including clinical trials of new treatments for patients with cancer.

For More Information: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/leukemia