Diseases related to blood are not only about anemia, hemophilia, or thalassemia. There are also other diseases that are no less worrying, namely blood cancer or leukemia. Leukemia is a blood cancer that attacks white blood cells.
These white blood cells play an important role in the body's immune system, it protects the body from disease. This part of the blood is produced by the spinal cord. Then, what's with the white blood cells with leukemia?
These white blood cells will develop regularly in a normal body. However, in the body of people with leukemia, it's a different story. Bone marrow will produce abnormal white blood cells in excess, and do not function properly.
This excessive production of white blood cells will eventually lead to a buildup in the bone marrow. As a result, healthy blood cells will be reduced. Not only that, it is possible for these abnormal cells to spread to other organs, such as the lungs to the brain.
What Happens to the Body?
Blood cancer itself consists of two types based on its development, acute, and chronic. Acute leukemia develops rapidly due to an increase in the number of abnormal white blood cells or cells that are immature, so that they cannot function normally.
While chronic leukemia develops, slowly in the long term. White blood cells that should have died will stay alive and accumulate in the bloodstream, bone marrow, and other organs.
The question is, what conditions can happen to the sufferer's body?
- The body will be deprived of oxygen.
- Decreased immunity to disease or infection.
- Inhibits lymphocyte function, so the sufferer has the potential to experience serious infections.
- Forms imperfect myeloid cells and can clog blood vessels.
- Easy bleeding (eg, frequent nosebleeds) or bruising.
- Weight loss.
Know the Symptoms
What needs to be underlined, people with leukemia can experience different symptoms, depending on the type of leukemia they have. However, there are at least some symptoms that are generally experienced by people with leukemia, namely:
- Easy bleeding or bruising.
- The appearance of red spots on the skin.
- There is pain in the bones or joints.
- Throws up.
- Weight loss.
- The appearance of severe or frequent infections.
- Excessive sweating (especially at night).
- Swelling of the lymph nodes or spleen.
Overcoming Blood Cancer with Transplant
In addition to chemotherapy, radiotherapy, focused therapy and biologic therapy, how to treat leukemia can also be with a transplant. This transplant aims to replace the condition of the bone marrow that has been damaged, and is unable to produce healthy blood cells.
Bone marrow itself is a soft material that contains immature cells called hematopoietic stem cells. Well, these new cells will develop into three types of blood, white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets.
The process of collecting bone marrow samples from healthy donors is known as harvesting. In this process, a needle will be inserted through the donor's skin, into the bone to extract the bone marrow.
Furthermore, people with leukemia will be given a bone marrow infusion from a donor through an intravenous line. This procedure will be followed by an engraftment process, in which the new stem cells find their way to the spinal cord and return to producing blood cells.
Want to know more about the problem above? Call your doctor.