Leukemia is cancer of the white blood cells. White blood cells help your body fight infection. Your blood cells form in your bone marrow. In leukemia, however, the bone marrow produces abnormal white blood cells. These cells crowd out the healthy blood cells, making it hard for blood to do its work.
Leukemia can develop quickly or slowly. Acute leukemia develops quickly. Chronic leukemia develops slowly. It usually occurs during or after middle age. At first, the abnormal cells still function. Eventually, however, the disease gets worse.
You can often control chronic leukemia, but it is hard to cure. You might not need immediate treatment if you don't have symptoms. Treatments may include chemotherapy, radiation, biological therapy, surgery or stem cell transplantation. (Source: MedlinePlus)
This episode of Second Opinion focuses on Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL), and the use of biologic markers which has greatly increased the ability to diagnose, stage, choose treatments and give prognosis of this disease, making it a disease that many people can live with for many years.
To learn more about CLL from URMC, click here.
Conduct an off-site search for leukemia from MedlinePlus. These up-to-date search results are based on search terms specific to Second Opinion Key Points.
There are a very large number of organizations dedicated to helping people with leukemia disorder and their families and friends. This is only a partial list.
The American Cancer Society is the nationwide, community-based, voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by preventing cancer, saving lives, and diminishing suffering from cancer, through research, education, advocacy, and service.
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) coordinates the National Cancer Program, which conducts and supports research, training, health information dissemination, and other programs with respect to the cause, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of cancer, rehabilitation from cancer, and the continuing care of cancer patients and the families of cancer patients.
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is the world's largest voluntary health organization dedicated to funding blood cancer research, education and patient services.
The mission of the CLL Foundation is to raise money for research that will lead to a better understanding of the disease and to better treatments for those who have been diagnosed with the disease.