In India, cancer is one of the leading causes of deaths and nearly 13 per cent of all deaths caused every year are due to Cancer.
While there are more than 100 types of Cancer that have been discovered till now, a common type of Cancer which is prevalent these days is Blood Cancer.
In Blood Cancer, the rapidly multiplying cancerous cells attack different aspects of the circulatory system. The most commonly known Blood Cancer is Leukemia, which affects blood and blood-forming tissue of the bone marrow. In Leukemia, our body produces a large number of abnormal cells.
The average rate of Leukemia incidence in India is still lower than that of other developing countries. Yet in the past five years, there has been a 30 per cent rise in the number of victims affected by Leukemia in Delhi.
For a better understanding, it is important to distinguish between Normal Blood Cells and Leukemia Cells.
Difference between Normal Blood Cells and Leukemia Cells
Our blood is made up of a fluid called plasma and three types of cells with specific functions. These cells are:
- White Blood Cells – Fight infections
- Red Blood Cells – Carry oxygen to different parts of the body
- Platelets – Form blood clots that prevent bleeding
Bone marrow is a soft spongy tissue found in some of the bones in the body, such as the hip and thigh bones, where blood cells are formed.
In Leukemia, a person’s body produces too many abnormal white cells that are also called Leukemia Cells. It is, therefore, also called cancer of white blood cells. These abnormal white cells keep dividing continuously. Moreover, these cells don’t die when they become old or damaged which begins to impact important functions performed by our blood cells.
Chronic and Acute Leukemia
Leukemia can be classified into two types – Chronic and Acute Leukemia – depending on how quickly it develops and progresses.
In Acute Leukemia, new Leukemia cells are born rapidly and these cells are unable to do the job of normal white blood cells. A person with Acute Leukemia feels tired most of the time, gets bruised and infected easily than normal.
Chronic Leukemia develops slowly and these cells work like normal white blood cells. In this type of Leukemia, symptoms may go unnoticed since the person doesn’t feel sick at all in the beginning. One may get to know about it only after a blood test.
Causes and Symptoms
The exact cause for most of the Leukemia cases is still unknown. However, some factors that increase the chances of its occurrences include exposure to high level of radiation, high exposure to certain chemicals like benzene, smoking etc.
Many-a-time, people are unable to identify its symptoms. these include – fever, night sweats, frequent infections, weakness and fatigue, frequent headaches, decreased appetite and weight loss, easy bruising of the skin etc.
Leukemia can be diagnosed with a simple blood test by examining samples of your blood and bone marrow. Other than the blood test, following tests are recommended too:
- Bone marrow biopsy
- Lymph node biopsy
- Lumbar puncture
There are many tests related to Leukemia available at Oncquest Laboratories at affordable prices. Oncquest Laboratory is well-equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and specialist doctors to diagnose Leukemia at the right time, for better prevention!