Leukemia is something that we hear about a lot. I believe that people do not understand exactly what leukemia is and how dangerous it can be, I chose this topic to try to help them understand. In this paper I will explain what leukemia is and what treatments you can choose from to treat the cancer. Leukemia is a type of cancer. Cancer is a group of more than 100 diseases that have two or more important things in common. One is that certain cells in the body become abnormal.

Another is that the body keeps producing large numbers of these abnormal cells. Leukemia is cancer of the blood ce 3 ls. When leukemia develops the body produces large numbers of abnormal blood cells. In most types of leukemia, the abnormal blood cells and they do not function properly. (Cancer compass 10) There are two major groups of leukemia they are grouped based on how fast they spread. Acute leukemia is a cancer that starts in the organs that makes blood, namely the bone marrow and the lymph system.

Acute leukemia spreads very quickly. Chronic leukemia is when many white blood cells are made in the bone marrow. Depending on the type of white blood cell that is involved chronic leukemia can be classified as chronic leukemia or chronic myeloid leukemia. Chronic leukemia spreads slowly.

(Longe, 186) There are many different types of treatment for leukemia the one that you receive depends on what stage the cancer is in and what kind of leukemia you have. Chemotherapy is one form of treatment, patients who have chemotherapy take one or more anti-cancer drugs by mouth or intravenously, through a tube in one of the veins. Chemotherapy is given in cycles a treatment period followed by a recovery period, then another treatment period and so on. The drug enters the blood stream and destroys leukemia cells throughout the body.

However, they cannot reach the brain and spinal cord, because of a protective network of blood vessels that keep foreign substances from entering the central nervous system. In certain cases doctors need to inject the drug directly into the fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. (Health a to z, 20) Radiation is another type of treatment. Radiation therapy uses a special machine to deliver high energy rays that damage cancer cells and stop then from growing. These rays may be detected in the entire body, or they may be focused on certain area where leukemia cells are collecting. (Disease facts and statistics, 30) Another option is Bone Marrow Transplantation.

In many cases of acute leukemia and cml, doctors give high doses of chemotherapy and radiation, when indicated to destroy all of the patient's bone marrow, since it is not functioning correctly. Then they give the patient healthy bone marrow from the donor, whose tissue it the same or almost the same as theirs; ideally an identical twin or a sibling. They also might give bone marrow that was removed from the patient earlier and especially treated to remove any leukemia cells. Patients who have a bone marrow transplant bone marrow begins to produce enough white blood cells.

Apheresis for Stem Cell Transplant is another choice for treatment. This is newer technology, which separates the bone marrow stem cells. Stem cells are rare, young bone marrow cells that eventually develop into the plentiful, mature red cells, white cells and platelets. Before chemotherapy or radiation therapy for leukemia, a patient is given a drug to induce production of many stem cells over a few days.

Once there are enough stem cells to collect, the patient undergoes " apheresis ", a three-to-four hour procedure were blood goes through a machine and returns to the body. Stem cells collected in this process serve as new bone marrow for transplant. (blood cancer and leukemia, 10) Another choice is Biological Therapy. This is the newest form of treatment under investigation is called biological therapy, which uses substances produced by the body to bolster its ability to fight off leukemia. Scientist have identified several substances involved in immune response, which is the body's way of protecting itself from germs, bacteria, and other harmful things. They can produce these substances in the lab and use them to help the body defend itself against leukemia and other forms of cancer.

(, 100) Molecular targeting - treatment of the future. In 2001 the FDA approved the oral medication Glee vec for a rare, fetal type of leukemia. This breakthrough drug intended for CML. Kills cancerous cells only. It does not harm healthy cells. It interferes with how CML works at a molecular level so far, the side effects of the drug is not severe.

It can cause nausea and some abnormal problems and skin rash. (health a to z, 20) In conclusion I have explained what leukemia is and the treatments that you can chose from like chemotherapy, radiation, bone marrow transplant, apheresis fro stem cell transplant, biological therapy, and molecular targeting. I hope with all this information I have provided you know and understand more about what leukemia is and it's treatments.