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Leukemia is a disfunction of the bone marrow stem that over produces white blood cells which generally infiltrate into other organs spreading the disease to the liver, nervous system, spleen and other organ tissues.

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Introduction

Leukemia is a group of blood diseases characterized by cancer of the blood forming tissues. It was discovered in Europe during the XIX century when a group of doctors directed by John Hughes Bennett tested their patients and discovered their elevated number of white blood cells. It was then called "white blood" and later was named leukemia from the words greek words "leukos" (white) and "hemia" (blood). Leukemia is a disfunction of the bone marrow stem that over produces white blood cells which generally infiltrate into other organs spreading the disease to the liver, nervous system, spleen and other organ tissues. The production of white blood cells affect the blood clotting process which means patients who suffer leukemia may present abnormal bleeding or brusing. The white blood cells over produce during the disease are dysfunctional and have a lack of defensive capacity which makes the body vulnerable for infection and finally the red blood cells deficit produces anemia. There are other symptoms presented before the disease is spread through other parts of the body like : fever, weakness, fatigue, loss of appetite, headache, paralysis, seizures, bone or joint pain. There are two types of leukemia : myelogenous or granulocytic and lympathic. This terms are divided depending on the types of blood cells involved in the disease (lymphoid cells or myeloid cells). The main forms of leukemia are : * Acute lymphocytic leukemia which is the common type of leukemia presented in children or elder people. * Acute myelogenous leukemia occurs in adults and children. * Chronic lymphocytic leukemia onlye presented in adults of 50 years and older. There are no scientific proves of what causes leukemia in human beings however studies have detected that it might be produced by mutations of the DNA, radiation or cancerigenous substances. Since the cause is unknown there is no prevention method against leukemia therefore if symptoms are presented the patient should elaborate medical tests immediately because as all types of cancer leukemia is only treatable when diagnosed in its early stages. ...read more.

Middle

The main treatments for leukemia are : * Chemotherapy - is a treatment in which large dosis of chemical substances are taken regularly by the patient in order to stop the production of white blood cells and to make the immune system more eficient against infections and diseases. Most chemotherapy enters the body intravenously which increases the chances of survival and defeating of the disease because the drugs enter the stream blood in a faster and more direct way. Some doctors even recomend a portable machine that introduces the drugs through a small surgically inserted cannulae. The main reason why a patient would avoid chemotherapy are the various side affects it represents such as hair loss, nausea and vomiting, anemia and complications in the respiratory or cardiovascular system. However it has proven to be the most effective treatment against cancer in the last century. * Radiation therapy - it consist on the use of radiotion in order to eliminate cancerigenous cells already present in the body of the patient. It is sometimes used when the disease has passed the treatable stage and its only purpose is to reduce symptoms and pain. It also used before the transplant or removal or an organ in order to reduce the possiblities of the rejection of the body to the new organ. Objectives Learn and understand what leukemia is, its causes, development, treatments, natural history, the number of people it affects in Mexico as well as means for prevention and fast diagnosis in order to be able to inform the public on the disease, as well as alerting them of its presence and its detections ways. * Learn and understand what the disease is. * Learn its causes. * Learn its development and the different types of leukemia and its differences. * Lymphocytic * Myeloidic * Learn about the best treatments and how do they help our body fight the disease. ...read more.

Conclusion

* Chemotherapy o When is it used o How is it used o Side effects * Radiation therapy o When is it used o How is it used o Side effects * Leukemia situation world wide * Mexico * United States * More affected countries * Produce a TV spot in which we inform the population about leukemia and how to prevent it. Justification For this research we decided to investigate about a disease that is becoming more common in our society leukemia. We believe that this is a disease that indangers people all around the world and since there are almost non prevention methods or life styles related to the disease we believe it is important to inform children and adults about the way it works, how does it develop and the treatments available. But above all we believe that it is important to inform the public about the symptoms that are presented during the early stages of leukemia because as almost all types of cancer leukemia is a treatable and curable disease when it is diagnosed and treated in its early stages. By informing people of the symptoms and signs of the disease we give them a chance to be aware of their own health and the presence of abnormalities in their body. Leukemia stops being treatable when it spreads to other organs like the liver, spleen or nervous system but this happends during the last stages of the disease, this is why if a patient whith symptoms is diagnosed in its early stages he or she can undergo chemotherapy or radiaton therapy or both treatments and fight the disease and have much more chances of survival. The International Leukemia and Lymphoma Organization reports almost 4500 deaths a year of children and adults that died because of leukemia and the 60% of those cases are patients who were not diagnosed while the disease was treatable, this stadistics show that information and conciousness are two important factors for the treatment and control of leukemia. Wikipedia encyclopedia, Leukemia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leukemia http://en.wikipedia.org The leukemia and lymphoma society http://www.leukemia-lymphoma.org/ http://www.leukemia-lymphoma.org/all_mat_detail.adp?item_id=6057&sort_order=3&cat_id= ...read more.

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