Leukemia is a type of blood and bone marrow cancer that affects the body’s blood-forming tissues, including the bone marrow and lymphatic system. The bone marrow is responsible for producing blood cells: red blood cells (RBCs), thrombocytes, and white blood cells (WBCs). WBCs are also known as lymphocytes or leukocytes, and they are of fundamental importance in the immune system as they determine the specificity of the immune response to infectious microorganisms and other foreign substances.
When the bone marrow rapidly overproduces abnormal WBCs, those WBCs crowd out the RBCs and thrombocytes that your body needs to be healthy and the extra WBCs don’t function properly in fighting infections.
Many types of Leukemia exist. Some forms are more common in children while other forms occur mainly in adults. And studies over the years tend to indicate there is a reciprocal correlation between those having iron deficiency anemia (IDA) are at greater risk of having cancer (like Leukemia, Lymphoma and Myeloma), and those with Leukemia are at greater risk of developing certain types of anemia (like IDA).
While the exact cause of Leukemia – or any cancer, for that matter – is unknown, there are several risk factors that you should be aware of, such as radiation exposure, previous cancer treatment and being over the age of 65.
It also tends to be linked to other blood disorders, such as anemia and iron deficiency anemia, or any other disorders relating to low iron content, low hemoglobin, and/or low hematocrit levels (low red blood cell count) in the blood. The following is a list of common risk factors for Leukemia as well as other blood cancers like Lymphoma.
Being Male – Men are more likely than women
Heredity / Family History
Exposure to High-Energy Radiation
Breast Implants – Although it is rare, some women with breast implants may develop a type of Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (ALCL) in their breast(s). The risk of contracting ALCL seems to increase when the breast implants have textured (rough) surfaces as opposed to smooth surfaces.
Arizona Oncology Foundation is a program-based organization whose primary mission is to help people through cancer treatment and survivorship. We provide free services that increase the quality of life while people and their loved ones fight cancer. Specifically, we provide the non-medical supportive services that most insurance companies either don’t cover at all or not to the extent that is actually needed. We have 25 integrative and supportive services that help patients, their family members and caregivers.
If you wish to help us in our mission, please donate to this worthy cause. All accepted clothing (click HERE for an extensive list) and monetary donations are specifically used to help cancer patients, their families and caretakers by means of offering them non-medical, healthcare supportive services, financial aid services and cancer support groups, which help people through cancer treatment and survivorship as we strive to increase the quality of life of all those affected by cancer.