Leukemia is a type of blood 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), platelets, 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 platelets 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), 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.
Being Male – Men are more likely than women
Heredity / Family History
Exposure to High-Energy Radiation
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