Cancer Research Assignment

Leukemia is a form of cancer found in the blood and the bone marrow, where more white abnormal cells are dividing quickly which could overtime outnumber the normal cells. Leukemia starts formation in the stem cells of bone marrow and develops when the blood stem cells in the marrow are abnormal. Overtime this rapid growth and division will cause the leukemia cells to overcrowd the normal blood cells, making it harder for the white blood cells, red blood cells and platelet to function.

It begins by attacking and reducing the infection fighting white blood cells, making it harder for the body to repair itself and can lead to the development of other diseases, it disrupts the normal cell balance hindering the cells from performing their duties and when cancerous cells attack the bone marrow it causes numerous bone and joint pain. There are approximately over 223,000 leukemia patients in the U.S.

(The Survivors Club, 2011) and the survival of the patient depends on the phase of leukemia they are in, chronic leukemia patients are more responsive to treatment, the worst is the acute blast phase where the chance of survival is slim. The good news is the survival rate is a lot better than they were decades ago, new improvements on technology mean the chances of living 5 years or more are feasible. There are many different types of available treatments for leukemia such as chemotherapy where drugs are injected to try to contain the abnormal cells.

Stem cell transplant uses high dose chemotherapy to eliminate bone marrow cancer cells so the marrow can be substituted with a transplant of new strong stem cells. In radiation therapy a large machine will carefully target the infected area of the body with radiation, hopefully damaging all the cancer cells in its path, in some cases it is used to prevent the spread of the abnormal cells. Finally biological therapy uses the immune system and creates natural drugs to enhance the body’s resistance, in order to fight or at least control the side effects of other treatments.

There isn’t much that can be done to reduce the risk of leukemia, especially since there is no specific cause, but there are a few simple lifestyle changes can help to keep leukemia at bay. One very important change is to stop smoking especially if over the age of 60 because this increases development of acute myeloid leukemia and it weakens the defenses and makes it easier for the cancerous cells to overcrowd the healthy cells.

Just as important it is crucial to stay away or reduce exposure to harmful chemicals, especially benzene which is a byproduct of coal and petroleum, it is used in gasoline, paint, solvents, plastics, pesticides and detergents, and people who work assembling these products are at higher risk and more exposure. There are quite a few medical and ethical issues with the screening and prevention of cancer. Many consider that advanced medical technology has created many of the complex situations physicians of the 21st century battle.

An example would be giving a patient bad news and telling them they’re fine or vice versa, though the patient would rather know the truth and work on improving the problem. The earlier the problem is detected, the easier it is to treat.

REFRENCES Incorporated, H. (n. d. ). Leukemia- topic overview. Retrieved from http://www. webmd. com/cancer/tc/leukemia-topic-overview Wedro, B. (2011, June 14). (cml)causes, symptoms and treatment. Retrieved from http://www. medicinenet. com/leukemia/article. htm Kantarjian, H. (2010, August 15).

How is acute leukemia treated?. Retrieved from https://www. caring4cancer. com/go/aml/treatments Canadian Cancer Society. (2009, December 12). What is leukemia?. Retrieved from http://www. cancer. ca/Canada-wide/About cancer/Types of cancer/what is leukemia. aspx? sc_lang=en Cancer Facts and Figures 2010. American Cancer Society. [http://www. cancerquest. org/multimedia/pdf/facts&figures2010. pdf] Hoffbrand AV, Moss PAH, Pettit JE (ed).

“Essential Haematology” 5th Edition. Blackwell Publishing, Oxford: 2006. Pg. 365. Kampen, K.(2011, September 28). The discovery and early understanding of leukemia.

Retrieved from http://www. sciencedirect. com/science/article/pii/S0145212611004711 American Cancer Society. (2008, March 22). Leukemia – Acute Myeloid (Myelogenous). Retriever from http://www. cancer. org/cancer/leukemia-acutelymphocyticallinadults/detailedguide/index National Cancer Society. (2011, October 24). Adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia treatment. Retrieved from http://www. cancer. gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/adultALL/healthprofessional.

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