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  • Blood cancer awareness month | What is Leukaemia?

    I can’t believe there’s only a few days of September left, it’s gone SO fast! Well, actually this whole year has.. Anyway this is the last post to support blood cancer awareness month! I find Leukaemia harder to understand as it’s so complicated compared to Lymphoma but hopefully all this information makes some sense to you guys!

    What is Leukaemia? Leukaemia is a cancer which starts in blood-forming tissue, usually the bone marrow. It leads to the over-production of abnormal white blood cells, the part of the immune system which defends the body against infection. Leukaemia affects white blood cells and can be classified either by the type of white cell affected (myeloid or lymphatic) or by the way the disease progresses (acute or chronic). Acute and chronic do not refer to how serious the disease is but to how rapidly it progresses.

    Blood cells are formed in the bone marrow, the spongy tissue found inside the bones. Blood-forming stem cells divide to produce either more stem cells or immature cells that become mature blood cells over time. A blood stem cell may become a myeloid stem cell or a lymphoid stem cell.

    Types of Leukaemia

    There are four main types of Leukaemia:

    Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) – Rapidly developing, affects myeloid cells.

    Chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) – Slowly developing, affects myeloid cells.

    Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) – Rapidly developing, affects lymphocytes.

    Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) – Slowly developing, affects lymphocytes.

    Acute leukaemia progresses rapidly, unless effectively treated but it can often be cured with standard treatments, such as bone marrow transplants.

    Chronic leukaemia progresses slowly but, although it can be treated and managed, it is not usually possible to cure chronic leukaemia with standard treatments.

    This is why (I think anyway) Leukaemia is more complicated than Lymphoma because there are just so many types and sub-types etc. Maybe this because I had Lymphoma and not Leukaemia so I don’t understand it as well but after researching it for this post I feel like I understand it more! 🙂

     Symptoms of Leukaemia

    ▪️ Fever or chills

    ▪️ Persistant fatigue 

    ▪️ Frequent or severe infections 

    ▪️ Losing weight without trying 

    ▪️ Swollen lymph nodes 

    ▪️ Easy bleeding or bruising 

    ▪️ Recurrent nose bleeds 

    ▪️ Tiny red spots in your skin 

    ▪️ Excessive sweating 

    ▪️ Bone pain or tenderness 

    (Symptoms vary depending on the type of Leukaemia)

    Here come some stats..

    Around 8,200 people are diagnosed with leukaemia each year in the UK, that’s more than 22 people every day.

    59% of people with leukaemia survive to five years, but there are big differences in survival rates between different types of leukaemia. The highest survival rate is for hairy cell leukaemia (90.1%) but this condition’s very rare. The lowest is for acute myeloid leukaemia, where only 15% of people survive to five years.

    Leukaemia is the 11th most common cancer in the UK.

    As I have put before.. KNOW YOUR BODY! If you feel something isn’t right, go and get it checked out!

    I hope you’ve found these posts interesting and you learned something about blood cancer you didn’t know before. Thank you to everyone who has shared, liked or commented on my posts to support blood cancer awareness month! 

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    1. October 17, 2016 / 8:54 pm

      Thanks for the clarity of you article found it helpful and easy to understand. Much appreciated. Thanks hope all is well for you.

    2. November 18, 2016 / 8:01 am

      This is great awareness writing. I’ve learnt a lot from this piece.

      Thank you for sharing 🙂

      • Samantha
        November 18, 2016 / 8:23 am

        Thank you for reading Natasha! I’m glad you learned something 🙂

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