Leukemia is cancer of the white blood cells. White blood cells help your body fight infection. Your blood cells form in your bone marrow. In leukemia, however, the bone marrow produces abnormal white blood cells. These cells crowd out the healthy blood cells, making it hard for blood to do its work.
Leukemia can develop quickly or slowly. Chronic leukemia grows slowly. In acute leukemia, the cells are very abnormal and their number increases rapidly. Adult acute leukemia can cause
- Weight loss
- Easy bruising or bleeding
Adult acute leukemia can often be cured. Treatments may include chemotherapy, radiation and stem cell transplantation. Even if symptoms disappear, you might need therapy to prevent a relapse.
For more information, visit www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/leukemiaadultacute.html