Acute lymphoblastic leukemia
ALL or acute lymphoblastic leukemia, is a type of blood cancer. It is also known as the acute lymphoid leukemia or acute lymphocytic leukemia. In adults, this is the least most common type of leukemia. This disease starts in the bone marrow (inner part of bones) and it starts with white blood cells. Acute lymphoblastic leukemia develops from white blood cells that are used by the immune system in defense of our body. ALL develops from the immature lymphocytes.
ALL invades the blood. Then, it can spread to other organs such as spleen, liver and lymph nodes. You must remember that this type of leukemia doesn’t produce tumors. But it is an acute type of leukemia, so it progress very fast. If a patient doesn’t get the right treatment or doesn’t get any treatment, he can die in a couple of months.
The outlook depends on: your age (younger people have better outlook), lab results (people with a lower count of white blood cells have better prognosis), a subtype of the ALL, do a person has Philadelphia chromosome and a patient’s response to chemotherapy.
Doctors’ still doesn’t know what cause ALL. Because of this, there is no information on how to protect yourself from it. But, there are some risk factors:
• High levels of radiation, often used in the treatment of other types of cancer.
• Certain chemical exposure (benzene and some cleaning products).
• T-cell lymphoma infection.
• Having a Down syndrome.
• Being male and white.
The treatment depends on every patient. It may include: chemotherapy, bone marrow transplant, targeted and radiation therapy. The treatment is divided into induction therapy and post-induction therapy.