Categorized | Health

Lymphoblasic Leukaemia

Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, also referred to as ALL, is a condition when white blood cells, or leukocytes, multiply without control in the bone marrow. The word acute signifies the fact that if ALL is left untreated for a long time, the condition sharply progresses and may result in death in a matter of weeks or months.

The symptoms of ALL may be weak at first but tend to get worse as the form of cancer progresses. These symptoms include anaemia (critically low levels of haemoglobin), fever, weakness, weight loss, excessive bruising, swollen lymph glands, liver or spleen, rashes on the skin, being short of breath, as well as pain in the bones and joints. These signs occur because healthy cells in the immune system are destroyed by the multiplying cancerous cells.

ALL is thought to be caused by exposure to high levels of radiation or industrial chemicals, such as benzene. Infections and certain genetic conditions (Down‘s syndrome and Fanconi‘s anaemia) may increase the risk of developing ALL. The treatment for ALL includes chemotherapy, radiotherapy and, in some cases, bone marrow or blood transplantation.

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