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Leukemia - Articles Surfing
All of the different *types* of cancer can be deadly, that's a given. Even though survival rates tend to be much higher nowadays than they were perhaps twenty years ago, the fact is that a diagnosis of cancer can still be a death sentence and this is especially so when it affects the most vital components of the body.
One such type of cancer that falls into this category is cancer of the blood, more commonly known as leukemia. Many people may not think of it this way, but, in simple terms, blood is the most important tissue of the body.
It is effectively the conduit that connects all the other organs and tissues of the body together, carrying and supplying oxygen and other vital elements to even the remotest parts of the body. Bloods importance to the body cannot be over estimated.
So, the most dangerous feature of leukemia is that is attacks the blood which then has access to all of the bodies other organs, including the all brain, heart, kidneys and liver. Thus, the cancerous cells are spread throughout the body by the very blood that is normally the key to good health, in a leukemia sufferer.
To take this analogy one stage further, blood cancer specifically targets the leukocytes or the *white blood corpuscles* of the blood, which are the very ones that usually protect the body from external infections. Thus, the body's immunity from, or resistance to, external infections is dramatically reduced in a leukemia sufferer. Such blood cancer causes the body to produce infected and abnormal cells that hinder the function of blood (i.e. the transport of oxygen around the body) rather than helping it.
It is common for a leukemia sufferer to become anemic, and to lose weight, because the cancerous cells are unable to adequately the hemoglobin, the body's chief source of iron.
As a consequence, the blood cancer patient tends to lose all vitality and energy, and becomes especially vulnerable, because the infected blood tends to cause the brain to start to malfunction to some extent.
Exposure to raised levels of radiation is a prime proven cause of leukemia. Likewise, children born with Downs Syndrome have a raised probability of suffering blood cancer, and benzene (an industrial hydro-carbon) is also cited as a cause.
However, the slightly better news is that the abnormal cells are easily detected under the microscope, and a timely bone marrow examination should confirm these microscopic tests.
Chemotherapy, whilst it can be extremely painful, is nevertheless still the most effective method of killing the cancerous cells, although any patient undergoing such treatment should be prepared to have to ingest an unholy alliance of chemicals that he (or she) needs to take.
Similarly, radiotherapy can be effective also, with various unpleasant side effects, such as hair loss and poor skin quality whilst undergoing treatment.
Although it is undoubtedly one of the most deadly forms of cancer, leukemia is nevertheless treatable and indeed curable, and extensive research into more effective treatment is a constantly ongoing fact.
Methods like a bone marrow transplant, which may be required at a later stage, are also effective in treating the patient.
Copyright © 1995 - Photius Coutsoukis (All Rights Reserved).
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