In today’s society, many people are affected by cellular and cancerous diseases, such as leukemia. When we talk about leukemia we refer to a type of cancer located in the bone marrow, which affects the blood supply and the production of white blood cells, and also, consequently, causes the immune system to not work correctly.
When this disease affects minors, we speak of childhood leukemia, and it is usually a cause for very high concern and discomfort. Today in this FastlyHealarticle we are going to find out if childhood leukemia has a cure .
What is leukemia
Leukemia is an abnormal cellular disease that affects blood production . It is a type of cancer that is generated in the bone marrow, affecting the primitive cells that create blood and specifically, and more commonly, white blood cells or leukocytes. These blood cells are responsible for immune reactions and when they are affected there is no response to attacks, since the immune system stops working.
The growth of leukemic cells can be very fast, since they are cells that do not die in the normal process of cell growth and that also reproduce through their own division, which makes their expansion process a very rapid course. They affect normal cells, producing less and less of this type and more of the leukemic.
Types of childhood leukemia
We must know that there are different types of childhood leukemia, since depending on the type that is suffered, the disease will be treated in one way or another:
Acute lymphoblastic or lymphocytic leukemia (ALL)
It affects the function of the bone marrow to form lymphocytes, cells responsible for maintaining the functioning of the immune system. This type of leukemia is characterized by young cells that reproduce very quickly. It is a dangerous type of leukemia that puts the person at risk, since the generation of leukemic cells is very fast and affects the normal and functional cells of the body, affecting the entire immune system.
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML)
It affects the function of the bone marrow to form myeloid cells, cells responsible for generating white and red blood cells and platelets. This type of leukemia is characterized by young cells that reproduce very quickly. It is also a risk disease for the same reason as the previous one, due to the rapidity in the creation of leukemic cells and the disappearance of normalized cells.
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)
It affects the function of the bone marrow to form lymphocytes, cells responsible for maintaining the functioning of the immune system. This type of leukemia disrupts the formation of lymphocytes and creates a slow and low immune system, but it does not cause serious disease and can be regulated with drugs and treatments without becoming a high health problem. It can also cause anemia due to the lack of creation of red blood cells since the leukemic cells prevent it.
Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML)
It affects the function of the bone marrow to form myeloid cells, cells responsible for generating white and red blood cells and platelets. This type of leukemia alters the formation of blood cells but does not affect in such a strict or harsh way, being able to carry out medical or pharmacological therapies that regulate the formation of blood cells and platelets. It is a chronic but not serious disease.
Causes of childhood leukemia
Here we explain the main causes of the appearance of leukemia in children:
- Mutations in DNA : one of the reasons that have been known recently is a possible mutation in the DNA of people who suffer from this disease.
- Genetic factors : family history is not a direct cause but may be linked to the appearance of this disease. Our body may have a certain genetic predisposition to this disease.
- Environmental factors : recent studies affirm that being in contact with toxic agents, breathing air with improper components of this or even ingesting certain products, can cause our body to alter its functioning and predispose itself to a cancerous disease.
- Previous cancers : the fact of having suffered a cancer before is proven that it can lead to an alteration in the body and the immune system, and can lead to another cancer of the leukemic type.
All of these causes are not definitive or absolute, they are simply factors that can cause the disease to develop.
General symptoms of childhood leukemia
- Tiredness and bone pain : as we have seen, the alteration produced by the leukemic cells can lead to anemia, a low immune system and therefore body fatigue and bone pain. This fact can also cause dizziness and headaches.
- Night sweats: it is very common for childhood leukemia patients to suffer night sweats due to the blood composition that is altered and that our body reacts to this alteration by generating sweats to balance it.
- Common and frequent infections and diseases : it is one of the most common symptoms, because the immune system cannot work normally and any external agent, germ, virus and bacteria can lead to a disease.
- Bleeding – Difficulty closing wounds, very runny blood, or common nosebleeds are a symptom of leukemia. It is because the alteration of blood components does not create enough platelets to close wounds.
- Fever : our body reacts to the detection of an internal malfunction and its method of defending itself may be a high fever.
- Swollen abdomen : Leukemia cells can get into the liver, swelling the abdomen and creating pain in the area.
- Swollen lymph nodes: when the immune system fails, inflammation of the body lymph nodes is common as a defense method against possible external attacks.
Is Childhood Leukemia Cured?
The answer to this question varies depending on what type of leukemia we treat:
- The acute leukemias , which are in turn the most dangerous do have a cure.
- On the other hand, chronic leukemias have no cure, but treated correctly they are not a serious or fatal disease.
The acute leukemias , usually require treatment chemotherapy , radiotherapy or bone marrow transplant or stem cells. This type of leukemia is more aggressive and problematic for the life of the patient, putting them more at risk and forcing them to go through harsher medical treatments such as those mentioned above. Treated promptly and professionally, acute lymphoblastic or acute myeloid leukemia in children is cured .
On the other hand, chronic leukemias may or may not need medical or pharmacological treatment. They often go unnoticed because they have little influence on the system. In the event that these types develop by creating a tumor, the same treatments will be applied as in acute leukemias, but if this is not the case and this disease can be controlled with other means, drugs will be used, various drugs prescribed by the doctor. Being chronic, the disease will not be overcome, it cannot be cured, but it can be lived with through adjusted treatment.
In the case of believing that you may be suffering from this disease or that your son or daughter may have it, we recommend that you visit your doctor so that he can perform the appropriate tests and act according to the type of leukemia that is suffered.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
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I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.