Thursday, October 20, 2011


What Is the Cause of Leukemia?

Cancer invades the tissues that form the blood cells which includes the bone marrow and the lymphatic system.   In the picture above which are viewed from a microscope are abnormal cells.  The second  image is a diagram of all blood cell types in the human body.

Leukemia usually begins with the white cells.  We have white cells to defend our bodies against infection .   Normal white cells divide in systematic way.  When white cells are become abnormal they divide rapidly.  

A blood specimen is drawn for a lab tech to analyze through a lab instrument.  When the result is printed and she will look at the result.  The instrument should flag abnormalities.  If the white count is elevated , then the lab tech should prepare a manual differential.  This is done by placing a drop of blood on a slide and spread drop with a quick push across with another slide at a 45 degree angle.  After the smear is made then it is stained so it can be viewed under the microscope.  100 cells are viewed and categorized according to type and maturity stage of that cell.  If there are many abnormalities it will be sent to the pathologist for viewing and reporting.   He may recommend a bone marrow biopsy.  The bone marrow is the place in your bone where cells are made.

Symptoms of leukemia are the following:
  1.  Fever and night sweats
  2. Your spleen may be enlarged and abdomen may be swollen and painful
  3. Infections do not go away
  4. Tired and weak
  5. Losing weight and you do not feel hungry is one I see a lot.

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