Battling Childhood Leukemia Essay

2016 words - 9 pages

Childhood leukemia is a devastating disease that often leads to death situations. One has to know that Leukemia is not just a word, but also a reality. “Over half of children diagnosed with cancer each year have leukemia” (Ruccione). There are many types of leukemia, but there four main types that appear among minors. Through this research, one will discover the different aspects of this cancer and in knowing this may help understand and learn about Leukemia more.
Childhood Leukemia is a blood cancer that begins in early blood-forming cells that are in the bone marrow. It is also described into two major groups, acute (fast growing) or chronic (slow growing), but almost all childhood leukemia is acute (American cancer society ). The white blood cells help to fight infections in the immune system, but in Leukemia, the bone marrow creates abnormal white blood cells. The bone marrow is the soft material in the center of the bones. These leukemia cells do not go through the normal process of maturing. Many people may not know that the most childhood cancer that leads to deaths is childhood Leukemia. This illness is a one out of three cancers that is affecting adolescents worldwide (Key statistics).
(“What is causing this cancer to affect children?”) Up till this day, there has not been an exact cause of why Leukemia has been working its way up in impacting minors’ life. “Scientists have made great progress in understanding how certain changes in the DNA inside normal bone marrow cells can cause them to become leukemia cells (American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts ). Even though inherited disease is a risk of developing this cancer, in most cases it does not seem to be caused by that. However, there are many risk factors that follow the different types of Leukemia.
Even though the four types of Leukemia are fairly different, the symptoms are slightly the same. This cancer could make the child pale, tired, and have trouble breathing. Due to the fact that Leukemia in general produces the patient to have infections more often than usual, infections produce symptoms such as fever, headaches and coughing. The patient may bleed easily because they lack blood platelets, which would normally stop bleeding by plugging holes in damaged blood vessels. Swelling of the abdomen (belly), is another symptom and it also leads to loss of appetite and weight loss. Other symptoms may be bone or joint pain and swollen lymph nodes. Not producing symptoms or any signs of the illness could be normal because there are some cases where the signs do not appear in the early stage of the cancer (American Cancer Society ).
It is important to know the signs and symptoms in order to determine what type of leukemia the patient has. Usually, the doctor will do a bone marrow and biopsy to check the abnormal cells. They will also check up on the medical history of the person and follow that by doing a physical exam. This cancer could also be diagnosed by blood tests to see if there...

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