Blood cancer or leukemia is a cancer that attacks white blood cells. White blood cells are blood cells that serve to protect the body against foreign objects or diseases. These white blood cells are produced by the spinal cord.
In normal conditions, white blood cells will develop regularly when the body needs it to eradicate the infection that appears. Yet another case with people with blood cancer. Bone marrow will produce abnormal white blood cells, cannot function properly, and excessively. Excessive amounts will result in accumulation in the bone marrow so that healthy blood cells will decrease.
In addition to accumulating, these abnormal cells can also spread to other organs, such as the liver, spleen, lungs, kidneys, even to the brain and spine.
Types of Blood Cancer
There are different types of blood cancer. Based on the speed of its development, this cancer can be classified into acute and chronic.
Acute blood cancer develops rapidly due to the addition of abnormal white blood cells or immature cells that cannot function normally. This growth is very rapid and so is its spread into the bloodstream. This type should be dealt with immediately. If left unchecked, the body will be deprived of oxygen and immune to disease or infection decreases.
Meanwhile, chronic blood cancer develops slowly and in the long run. White blood cells that should have died will remain alive and accumulate in the bloodstream, bone marrow, and other related organs. These cells are more mature so they can function properly for a few moments. Therefore, the symptoms tend not to be felt immediately so they are only diagnosed after years.
Blood cancer can also be categorized according to the type of white blood cells that are attacked. Blood cancers that attack lymph cells are known as lymphotic leukemia and those that attack myeloid cells are called myelogenic leukemia.
Based on the two groupings above, there are four types of blood cancer that occur most often. Here is an explanation for each type.
Acute lymphotic leukemia or acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL)
ALL can inhibit lymphocyte function so that the sufferer has the potential to have a serious infection. This blood cancer is generally suffered by children, but can also attack adults.
Acute myelogen leukemia or acute myelogenous leukemia (AML)
It is a type of blood cancer that commonly affects adults. But AML can also be suffered by children and adolescents. This cancer will form myeloid cells that are imperfect and can clog arteries.
Chronic lymphotic leukemia or chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)
This type of blood cancer is only experienced by adults. CLL is generally only detected at an advanced stage because patients tend not to feel the symptoms for a long time.
Chronic myelogen leukemia or Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML)
This type of blood cancer is mostly suffered by people aged over 20 years. CML has two stages. In the first stage, abnormal cells will develop slowly. When entering the second stage, the number of abnormal cells will increase rapidly so that it will decrease dramatically.
In general, blood cancer or leukemia involves the bone marrow which is the place where white blood cells are made. Cells that are generally effective in eradicating this infection grow abnormally so that ultimately makes the body’s immune function not function optimally.