Leukemia is a disease characterized by the formation of abnormal numbers
of white blood cells, for which no certain cure has been found. Leukemia is also
conditions characterized by the transformation of normal blood-forming cells
into abnormal white blood cells whose unrestrained growth overwhelms and
replaces normal bone marrow and blood cells.
Leukemias are named according to the normal cell from which they
originate, such as Lymphocyte Leukemia. Lymphocyte Leukemia is where a
Lymphocyte cell is transformed into a Leukemia cell. Another example of
Leukemia is Myelocytic or (Granulocytic Leukemia). This forms when a Myelocytic
cell is changed or transformed into a Leukemia cell. Different Leukemia\'s are
located in the microscope and by how much protein they contain. These
Leukemia\'s are usually very severe and need treatment right away. The present
incidence of new cases per year in the United States is about 25 to every
100,000 persons.
The danger to the patient lies in the growth of these abnormal white
cells, which interfere with the growth of the red blood cells, normal white
blood cells, and the blood platelets. The uncontrolled growth of the abnormal
white cells produces a tendency to unstop bleeding, the risk of getting serious
infection in the wounds, and a very small possibility of obstruction of the
blood vessels.
Treatment of these Leukemias include chemotherapy with alkylafing agents,
or antimetabodies that suppress the growth of abnormal white cells. Another
treatment of some kind would be the x-ray or the administration or radioactive
substances, or radiophosphorus, may be used. After treatment these diseases may
last for many years. Age of the person diagnosed with Leukemia does play an
important part in how that individual responds to any treatment. The older the
person the less response he may have to treatment. Leukemia in Animals white
blood cells is much less common as Leukemia in humans white blood cells.
Today\'s treatment mostly includes chemotherapy and or bone marrow
transplantation supportive care, where transfusions of blood components and
prompt treatment of complicating infections, is very important. Ninety percent
of children with Acute Lymphocyte Leukemia have received chemotherapy and fifty
percent of theses children have been fully cured of Leukemia. Treatment of AML
or Acute Myeolcytic Leukemia is not as successful but has been improving more
and more throughout the 1990\'s.
Scientists that study the cause of Leukemia have not had very much
success lately. Very large doses of x-rays can increase the efficacy growth of
Leukemia. Chemicals such as Benzene also may increase the risk of getting
Leukemia. Scientists have tried experiments on Leukemia in Animals by
transmitting RNA into the body of the Animal. Interpretation of these results
in relation with human Leukemia is very cautious at this time. Studies have
also suggested that family history, race, genetic factors, and geography may all
play some part in determining the rates of growth of these Leukemias.
Stewart Alsop is an example of Acute Myeoblastic Leukemia, or AML. On
the day of July 21, 1971 Stewart was made aware of some of the doctors
suspicions due to his bone marrow test. He was told by his doctor in Georgetown
that his marrow slides looked so unusual that he had brought in other doctors to
view the test and they could not come to an agreement so they all suggested that
he take another bone marrow exam. The second test was known to be "hypocelluar"
meaning that it had very few cells of any sort, normal of abnormal. The
Georgetown doctors counted, about fourty-four percent of his cells were abnormal,
and he added, with a condor that he later discovered characteristics. "They
were ugly-looking cells." Most of them looked like Acute Meyoblastic Leukemia
cells, but not all some of them looked like the cells of another kind of
Leukemia, Acatymphoblastic Leukemia, and some of them looked like the cells of
still another kind of bone marrow cancer, not a Leukemia, it is called
Dysprotinemia. And even the Myeloblastic cells didn\'t look exactly like
Myeloblastic cells should look. Stewart has been treated with chemotherapy and
is still living today but he doesn\'t have very much longer to live.
Sadako Saski was born in Japan in the year of 1943 she died twelve years
later in the year of 1955 of Leukemia. She was in Hiroshima when the United
States Air Force dropped an atomic bomb on that city in an attempt to end World
War II. Sadako Saski was only two years old when all this had happened. Ten
years later, Sadako had been diagnosed with Leukemia as a result of the
radiation from the bomb. At this time Sadako was only a twelve