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Acute lymphocytic leukemia - Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Published on Jan 06, 2021   -  4 min read


Acute lymphocytic leukemia is a cancerous condition of the blood. Read this article to know more about the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment


What Is Leukemia?

Leukemia is a condition in which there is excessive proliferation of the cells like white blood cells. The white blood cells might include monocytes, lymphocytes, neutrophils, eosinophils, and basophils. When there is an increase in the number of cells more than the normal level, then it might result in the condition called leukemia. In simple terms, leukemia is known as blood cancer.

What Is Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia?

Acute lymphocytic leukemia is a condition in which there is a sudden spreading of the condition. It is also called acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The white cells also fail to achieve maturity, and these immature cells increase in number. It is a life-threatening condition. This condition can affect both adults and young children. Children are most commonly affected than older people. In children, the treatment is known to be very beneficial.

What Are the Causes of Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia?

The exact cause of acute lymphocytic leukemia is not known. The genetic mutations have caused acute lymphocytic leukemia in some people. Hereditary reasons are also the causative factor for acute lymphocytic leukemia.

What Are the Symptoms of Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia?

The symptoms experienced by patients with acute lymphocytic leukemia are:

What Are the Risk Factors Associated With Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia?

The following are the risk factors that are associated with acute lymphocytic leukemia.

How Is Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia Diagnosed?

The diagnosis of acute lymphocytic leukemia requires a proper medical history. In addition to this, the doctor will perform a clinical examination to identify the physical signs and symptoms. The most important diagnostic methods that are used for the detection of acute lymphocytic leukemia are:

Bone Marrow Aspiration: A reduced number of red blood cells and increased bone marrow growth are being identified with the bone marrow aspiration technique. In this method, bone marrow is taken from the pelvic bone.

Blood Tests: A routine blood examination is done for the patients to identify the number of RBC, WBC, and platelet. Patients who are affected by acute lymphocytic leukemia have a low level of platelet and hemoglobin. An elevated level of WBS is noted in blood examination.

Imaging Techniques:

A chest X-ray is taken to identify the widening of the mediastinum of the chest. The spreading of cancer to other parts of the brain, spinal cord, and other parts of the body can be detected using computed tomography (CT scan).

Spinal Fluid Test: This test is also called a lumbar puncture test. The spinal fluid is collected from the brain and spinal cord to identify the presence of cancer cells in these fluids.

What Are the Treatment Options for Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia?

The treatment plan is decided by the doctor after considering the health status of the individual. The most commonly employed treatment options are:

Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy drugs are prescribed for the patients to control the excessive growth of the white blood cells. These drugs are suitable for both younger and older patients.

Radiation Therapy: Radiation therapy is the best treatment of choice for patients whose central nervous system is being damaged.

Targeted Therapy: This therapy focuses on the specific abnormality present in the body. It can be used alone or in combination with the chemotherapy treatment based on the health of the individual.

Bone Marrow Transplant: In a bone marrow transplant, the bone marrow of the patient is replaced with a healthy and compatible donor.

Alternative Medicine: Alternative medicine does not provide a complete cure for acute lymphocytic leukemia, but it can be used to overcome the symptoms and effects caused by acute lymphocytic leukemia.

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06 Jan 2021  -  4 min read




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