ACUTE LYMPHOCYTIC LEUKEMIA
Acute lymphocytic leukemia is type of Leukemia that is characterized by lymphoblast. Leukemia can be grouped into acute or chronic. In acute leukemia, immature blood cells increases rapidly, giving no room for the bone marrow to produce new cells, on the other hand, when there is excessive build of mature abnormal cells , it is called chronic leukemia. They are produce faster than the normal cells.
Leukemia can further be divided basing on the blood cell that is affected. These two divisions are: lymphocytic leukemia and myelogenous leukemia. During the formation of new lymphocyte cell, haemocytoblast will divide to form lymphoblast which form prolymphoblast that eventually form either large or small lymphocyte. When either lymphoblast of prolymphoblast turns cancerous it is called lymphocytic leukemia. When marrow cell became cancerous it is called myelogenous leukemia. Other type of classification that don’t fit in the above four classification include; Chronic lymphocytic leukemia, Acute lymphoblastic leukemia, Acute myelogenous leukemia, Chronic myelogenous leukemia, hairy cell leukemia, T-cell prolymphotic leukemia, Large granular lymphocytic leukemia, Adult T-cell Leukemia,
Symptoms are the early indication of what leukemia treatment the doctor will narrow in. Symptoms may vary from one patient to another; however we have common clinical presentation symptoms that are manifested in all the leukemia patients. These are: loss appetite, loss of weight, fevers or night sweats, frequent infections, fatigue, headache, bleeding and bruising easily (bleeding gums, purplish patches in the skin), pain in the bones or joints, swelling or discomfort in the abdomen (from an enlarged spleen), swollen lymph nodes, especially in the neck or armpit, weight loss, tonsils, sores in the mouth, diarrhea and anemia.
Treatment for leukemia is determined by test carried out to confirm the leukemia. Complete blood count and bone marrow examination are the main tests done to confirm leukemia. Full blood count also called full haemogram always check for abnormal decreased or elevated values of different types of leucocyte(moncytes,lymphocytes,neutrophils,eosinophil),shape,size and pigmentation of red blood cell, haemoglobin level, average concentration of hemoglobin in the cells, and platelets value. High lymphocytes always indicate chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Bone marrow examination involves taking bone marrow and looking into the microscope by a pathologist. Bone aspiration might be done using a thin needle to remove a sample of bone marrow. In the early stage of leukemia, the blood count my not show any abnormality. X-ray, MRI or ultrasound may be requested by the doctor just confirm if some doubts arose from the precious tests.
There are different methods of treatment which include chemotherapy, biological therapy, radiation therapy or bone marrow transplantation. However not all will work for all patients. The doctor is at the best position to determine which is the best suitable for your condition. It is your right as a patient to know why the doctor has opted for a particular treatment for leukemia over the other.