Cancer regardless of the type is a terrible disease feared and dreaded by the human race, more so because there is still no cure for it. And leukemia is the type of cancer that affects the blood cells, it is basically cancer of the blood or the bone marrow. It is generally typified by the unusual increase in the number of white blood cells. There are different types of leukemia and they are categorized according to how soon the disease progresses and become worse. There are two main forms of the disease, acute and chronic leukemia.
Acute leukemia is typified by the speedy increase of white cells that prevents the bone marrow from generating healthy blood cells. In the case of this form of the disease the patient needs immediate treatment due to the collection and increase of malignant cells. These sick cells flow over into the blood stream and extend to the different organs inside the body. This is more commonly found in children.
The chronic form of the disease is the accumulation of considerably mature, but all the same abnormal white cells that take months or even years to develop. However these white cells are generated faster than the normal cells, so eventually there is an excess of them in the blood. While acute form of the illness requires immediate treatment, the chronic cases are often monitored for a while before administering treatment to make certain that the treatment gives the best results.
Leukemia patients are generally treated only in medical centers that have the requisite equipment to treat cancer patients. Their treatment will depend largely on the type of the disease, age, overall health conditions etc. By and large treatments are divided into two, the treatment to battle the disease and the treatment to give the patient relief from the symptoms and relief from the side effects thereof. The most commonly and widely accepted treatment for leukemia is chemotherapy which is the utilization of extremely strong drugs that will kill the malignant cells.
The exact causes of the disease is not known, but it is believed that smoking can contribute as a factor and long term exposure to chemicals like benzene and formaldehyde and extended exposure to radiation can also be considered causes.