Leukemia is a sort of cancer of the blood and marrow. The disease is characterized through the overproducing of immature blood cells (stem cells) that aren’t able to fully develop and carry out the activities of normal blood cells.
Each type of mature blood cells has specific traits and roles inside the body. White blood cells or leukocytes have an important role in the immune system, contributing to overcome infections. White blood cells also help in healing flesh wounds and cuts. Red blood cells or erythrocytes contain hemoglobin, which has a great importance in transporting oxygen to the cells within the organism. Red blood cells are vital for the process of cell respiration, carrying oxygen to cells and removing carbon dioxide from them. Platelets have an important role in repairing damage at the level of blood vessels, accumulating to seal any cuts or tares.
Leukemia leads to the accumulation and crowding of diseased stem cells at the level of the bone marrow, which decreases the normal production of healthy blood cells. The lack of normal blood cells leads to the appearance of leukemia symptoms. It is important to understand that despite the fact that leukemia causes an over production of white blood cells, these cells are immature and can’t substitute for normal blood cells. Due to this, the body is exposed to many forms of infection.
The most common leukemia symptoms are: anemia (insufficient number of red blood cells in the bloodstream), risks of bleeding (insufficient number of platelets in the bloodstream), nose bleeding, bleeding of the oral cavity, predisposition to bruising, high exposure to infections due to lack of white blood cells, improper healing.
Other leukemia symptoms may be fatigue, lack of concentration, poor psychical performance, fever, loss of appetite and weight loss.
In the case of chronic leukemia, which facilitates the accumulation of diseased blood cells in different places inside the body, the leukemia symptoms may be migraines, insomnia, decreased vision and hearing, loss of balance, faints and seizures. Some of these leukemia symptoms need immediate medical intervention, as they may lead to further complications.
Sometimes people with leukemia may have enlarged liver and spleen, causing abdominal swelling or enlarged lymph nodes. The body glands of the organism can also be affected by leukemia.
Leukemia symptoms have a non-specific character. This means that they can be misleading in establishing an appropriate diagnose, as they may also occur in the cases of other diseases. Medical professionals are the only persons able to distinguish leukemia from other illnesses with resembling symptoms. Proper diagnose is very important in order to quickly begin the administration of specific treatment. Blood analysis and careful body examinations can reveal the presence of leukemia. Leukemia is considered to have a high rate of mortality and although the disease can be overcome through treatment and therapy, it can cause death if its presence is not noticed in time. Therefore, prompt intervention is required for leukemia, regardless of its type.