Things to know about Leukemia

Leukemia is what cancer of the blood is called. Now while I’m no oncologist or a lab scientist, here are things to know about leukemia.

  1. There are four different types of Leukemia

Leukemia is due to a series of mutation in the genes that control the growth of cells, which leads to uncontrolled growth in the bone marrow. They are

Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML)

Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML)

Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL)

Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL)

  • No one knows the exact causes of leukemia or cancer in general. As a matter of fact, why one person gets leukemia and the other does not has still not been clearly explained. However, there common risk factors make one more prone to leukemia than the other. A risk factor is anything that increases a person’s chance of developing a disease.
  •  Studies have found the following risk factors of leukemia

Exposure to high ionized Radiation

People that have been exposed to high levels of radiation have been found from studies to be more prone to leukemia than people with less levels of radiation. When people hear the word radiation, their mind goes to manufactured products like atomic bombs and cancer treatments.

While these emit high doses of radiation, it takes any form and shape around us. Some types are just more dangerous than others. It is important to note that each exposure to radiation builds up in our body and the risk of cancer increases with each increased exposure to radiation over time.

That is why it is important to limit unnecessary exposures to radiation, especially x-rays.  Since radiation is all around from the sun to our cell phones, microwaves to airport equipment, It’s impossible to avoid it but we can limit our exposure to it.

  • Some chemicals cause leukemia

Exposure to high levels of some chemicals like benzene and Formaldehyde in the work place can cause leukemia.

  • Chemotherapy can be dangerous

Cancer patients treated with certain cancer-fighting drugs like alkylating and radiation therapy are prone to developing leukemia over time.