From the Greek words for white (leukos) and blood (hemia), leukemia refers to abnormally shaped and functioning leukocytes (white blood cells). Because the leukocytes multiply at an uncontrolled and rapid rate, leukemia is considered a cancer of the blood. Depending on their characteristics, leukemias can be divided into two broad types. Acute leukemias are the rapidly progressing leukemias, while the chronic leukemias progress more slowly. The vast majority of the childhood leukemias are of the acute form.
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society estimates that over 149,990 people will be diagnosed with leukemia, Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and myeloma in 2013. (These diseases are oftentimes grouped together because they are all cancers that originate in the bone marrow or lymphatic tissues.)...Read more