What is Leukaemia?
Leukaemia is often referred to as ‘cancer of the blood’. It occurs when the bone marrow (the factory in our body that produces healthy blood cells), develops a fault causing it to produce an excessive amount of immature white cells that are unable to work properly. These faulty cells are released from the marrow into our blood stream.
Is it infectious?
No. We do not fully understand the causes of leukaemia but we do know that it is not infectious and therefore cannot be caught like a common cold or by being in close contact with someone who is affected.
What are the symptoms?
There can be numerous symptoms: Excessive bruising, Bleeding gums Pains in the bones or joints Recurring infections, Anaemia, Extreme fatigue Swollen abdomen – due to the enlargement of the liver or spleen.
Does leukaemia cause loss of hair?
No. The disease itself does not make hair fall out. Some drugs and treatment administered cause this to happen. However, hair will quickly grow back again, often stronger and healthier than before.
How is leukaemia diagnosed?
A simple blood test will show any abnormalities in the blood. This test may, if necessary, be followed by a bone marrow examination to confirm diagnosis.
Is it treatable?
Yes. Research has moved forward in leaps and bounds since the 1960s. There are many different strains of the disease. Some are easier to treat than others.
Is it preventable?
We do not know yet, only research can tell. For that reason The Tracy Sollis Leukaemia Trust raises money to support basic research. Helpful Harry Hedgehog says: Early diagnosis will help to provide a successful cure.
Other Leukaemia sites
There are many other organisations that can give you help and advice about Leukaemia.
Here are details of just a few of them:
|Anthony Nolan||Anthony Nolan saves the lives of people with blood cancer who need a blood stem cell transplant.|
|Cancer Research||Funding scientists, doctors and nurses to help beat cancer sooner.|
|CLIC Sargent||CLIC Sargent is the UK’s leading cancer charity for children and young people.|
|Institute for Cancer Research||The Institute of Cancer Research (the ICR) is a public research institute and university located in London|
|Institute of Child Health||An academic department of the Faculty of Population Health Sciences of University College London|
|International Myeloma||Non-profit organization featuring research, clinical trials, events, fundraising and a newsletter.|
|Leukaemia Care||Leukaemia CARE is a UK charity dedicated to supporting patients and their families affected by blood cancer.|
|Lymphoma Association||Facts about lymphoma – causes, signs and symptoms of Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.|
|Macmillan Cancer Relief||One of the largest British charities, provides information and financial support to people affected by cancer.|
|Teenage Cancer Trust||Mission is to raise funds, educate, and support teenagers fighting cancer|