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    Filter Diseases & Condition

    Acute lymphocytic leukemia

    • Overview

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      ALL, short for Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia, is a type of cancer that affects the bone marrow and blood cells. It is referred to as “acute” because of its rapid progression and its tendency to produce immature blood cells instead of mature ones. The cancer affects white blood cells called lymphocytes, hence the term “lymphocytic” in the name. ALL is also known as acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

      While ALL is most commonly found in children, it can also occur in adults, although the chances are significantly lower. Treatment for ALL has a good chance of success, making it a curable type of cancer.

    • Symptoms

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      Signs and symptoms of acute lymphocytic leukemia may include:
      Bleeding from the gums
      Bone pain
      Fever
      Frequent infections
      Frequent or severe nosebleeds
      Lumps caused by swollen lymph nodes in and around the neck, armpits, abdomen or groin
      Pale skin
      Shortness of breath
      Weakness, fatigue or a general decrease in energy

    • When to see a doctor

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      If you notice any persistent signs and symptoms that worry you, you must schedule an appointment with your or your child’s doctor. Some symptoms of acute lymphocytic leukemia can be similar to those of the flu, but flu symptoms typically improve over time. If you don’t see improvement in your symptoms as expected, it’s best to visit your doctor.

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    • Causes

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      Acute lymphocytic leukemia results from genetic mutations in bone marrow cells, affecting their DNA which provides instructions for their functioning. Normally, DNA regulates cell growth and death. However, in this type of leukemia, mutations cause bone marrow cells to continue growing and dividing uncontrollably, producing abnormal and immature cells called lymphoblasts. These cells cannot function properly and can accumulate, replacing healthy cells. However, the cause of these DNA mutations is unknown.

    • Risk factors

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      Factors that may increase the risk of acute lymphocytic leukemia include:
      Previous cancer treatment. Children and adults with certain types of chemotherapy and radiation therapy for other kinds of cancer may have an increased risk of developing acute lymphocytic leukemia.
      Radiation exposure. People exposed to very high radiation levels, such as survivors of a nuclear reactor accident, have an increased risk of developing acute lymphocytic leukemia.
      Genetic disorders. Certain genetic diseases, such as Down syndrome, are associated with an increased risk of acute lymphocytic leukemia.

    • Prevention

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    • *Please note that the information provided in the article is for reference purposes only. It is essential to consult a doctor before applying any of the suggestions mentioned.

    Content Details

    Medical info from Mayo Clinic, for reference only. Visit Hoan My for better advice.

    Last updated on: 07/08/2023