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Approximately 29,000 individuals each year are diagnosed with Leukemia (National Cancer Institute 1). Leukemia is a form of cancer that affects the body's ability to produce healthy blood cells (National Cancer Institute 1). As Leukemia is becoming more prevalent in our society, it is important that we are able to understand what leukemia is affecting within the body and recognize the possible risks, symptoms, and treatments of different types of this cancer.
In understanding Leukemia, it is important to know how blood is classified. Every individual has two main types of blood cells: red blood cells called erythrocytes; and white blood cells called leukocytes (United States 2).Both erythrocytes and leukocytes begin as one specific cell.This cell called a stem cell, originates in the bone marrow and will differentiate and develop into either an erythrocyte or a leukocyte according to the need of the body at a particular time (United States 2).White blood cells are the body's way to defend itself from illness or disease (United States 3).Leukemia, meaning "white blood,"("Leukemia" 1) directly affects the body's ability to produce and develop properly functioning white blood cells.If the body cannot produce healthy leukocytes, the body's resistance against illness and disease decreases.One way leukemia is divided is into Acute Leukemia or Chronic Leukemia depending on the speed at which the cancer advances (United States 7). After Leukemia is determined to be either acute or chronic it is then classified as lymphoid or myeloid (United States 4). Within the division of Leukocytes, white blood cells, there are various types of cells.Whether Leukemia is myeloid or lymphoid is dependent upon the type of white blood cell that is affected: lymphoid cells or myeloid cells; both cells affect the response of the body’s immune system (United States 3).
Leukemia is not a disease that is …