Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), also called as acute lymphocytic leukemia and acute lymphoid leukemia, is a type of cancer in which the bone marrow produces abnormal amount of lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell). ALL is more prevalent in developed countries than in the developing ones. ALL is the most common cancer amongchildren with a peak incidence of 4-5 years of age. It accounts for 23% of childhood cancers.If caused in adults Men have a higher risk than women.Many symptoms of ALL are vague and non-specific.But it is important to get these symptoms checked and includes:
- Easy bruising
- Bleeding that does not stop easily
- Pale skin
- Red, pinhead-sized spots on the skin
- Weight loss
- Bone or abdominal pain
Causes of ALL
ALL is a cancer of the blood and bone marrow that occurs when abnormal cells in a part of your body begin to grow out of control. These abnormal cells are unable to function properly, and they can build up and crowd out healthy cells.ALL is caused by an increase in white blood cells called lymphocytes.
Factors that may increase the risk of acute lymphocytic leukemia include:
- Previous cancer treatment- Children and adults who’ve had certain types of chemotherapy and radiation therapy for other kinds of cancer may have an increased risk of developing acute lymphocytic leukemia.
- Exposure to radiation– People exposed to very high levels of radiation, such as survivors of a nuclear reactor accident, have an increased risk of developing acute lymphocytic leukemia.
- Genetic disorders- Certain genetic disorders, such as Down syndrome, are associated with an increased risk of acute lymphocytic leukemia.
- Having a brother or sister with ALL- People who have a sibling, including a twin, with acute lymphocytic leukemia have an increased risk of ALL.
Chemotherapy is the main form of treatment for ALL. At Paras hospitals a combination of drugs, including steroids, is usually given in several cycles with a rest period of a few weeks in between. Many children who are treated for ALL can be cured of their disease. The cure rates for adults with ALL is more variable.