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    Leukemia Essay Summary (826 words)

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    Leukemia is a disease characterized by the formation of abnormal numbers of white blood cells, for which no certain cure has been found. Leukemia is also a condition characterized by the transformation of normal blood-forming cells into abnormal white blood cells, whose unrestrained growth overwhelms and replaces normal bone marrow and blood cells. Leukemias are named according to the normal cell from which they originate, such as lymphocyte leukemia. Lymphocyte leukemia is where a lymphocyte cell is transformed into a leukemia cell.

    Another example of leukemia is myelocytic or granulocytic leukemia. This forms when a myelocytic cell is changed or transformed into a leukemia cell. Different leukemias are located in the microscope and by how much protein they contain. These leukemias are usually very severe and need treatment right away. The present incidence of new cases per year in the United States is about 25 per every 100,000 persons. The danger to the patient lies in the growth of these abnormal white cells, which interfere with the growth of the red blood cells, normal white blood cells, and the blood platelets. The uncontrolled growth of the abnormal white cells produces a tendency to unstop bleeding, the risk of getting a serious infection in the wounds, and a very small possibility of obstruction of the blood vessels.

    Treatment of these leukemias includes chemotherapy with alkylating agents or antimetabolites that suppress the growth of abnormal white cells. Another treatment of some kind would be the X-ray or the administration of radioactive substances, or radiophosphorus may be used. After treatment, these diseases may last for many years. The age of the person diagnosed with leukemia does play an important part in how that individual responds to any treatment. The older the person, the less response he may have to treatment. Leukemia in animals’ white blood cells is much less common than leukemia in humans’ white blood cells.

    Today’s treatment mostly includes chemotherapy and/or bone marrow transplantation supportive care, where transfusions of blood components and prompt treatment of complicating infections are very important. Ninety percent of children with acute lymphocyte leukemia have received chemotherapy, and fifty percent of these children have been fully cured of leukemia. Treatment of AML or acute myelocytic leukemia is not as successful but has been improving more and more throughout the 1990s. Scientists that study the cause of leukemia have not had very much success lately. Very large doses of X-rays can increase the efficacy growth of leukemia. Chemicals such as benzene also may increase the risk of getting leukemia.

    Scientists have tried experiments onLeukemia in Animals by transmitting RNA into thebody of the Animal. Interpretation of these resultsin relation with human Leukemia is very cautious atthis time. Studies have also suggested that familyhistory, race, genetic factors, and geography mayall play some part in determining the rates ofgrowth of these Leukemias. Stewart Alsop is anexample of Acute Myeoblastic Leukemia, orAML.

    On the day of July 21, 1971 Stewart wasmade aware of some of the doctors suspicionsdue to his bone marrow test. He was told by hisdoctor in Georgetown that his marrow slideslooked so unusual that he had brought in otherdoctors to view the test and they could not cometo an agreement so they all suggested that he takeanother bone marrow exam. The second test wasknown to be “hypocelluar” meaning that it hadvery few cells of any sort, normal of abnormal. The Georgetown doctors counted, aboutfourty-four percent of his cells were abnormal, andhe added, with a condor that he later discoveredcharacteristics.

    “They were ugly-looking cells. “Most of them looked like Acute MeyoblasticLeukemia cells, but not all some of them lookedlike the cells of another kind of Leukemia,Acatymphoblastic Leukemia, and some of themlooked like the cells of still another kind of bonemarrow cancer, not a Leukemia, it is calledDysprotinemia. And even the Myeloblastic cellsdidn’t look exactly like Myeloblastic cells shouldlook. Stewart has been treated with chemotherapyand is still living today but he doesn’t have verymuch longer to live. Sadako Saski was born inJapan in the year of 1943 she died twelve yearslater in the year of 1955 of Leukemia. She was inHiroshima when the United States Air Forcedropped an atomic bomb on that city in an attemptto end World War II.

    Sadako Saski was only twoyears old when all this had happened. Ten yearslater, Sadako had been diagnosed with Leukemiaas a result of the radiation from the bomb. At thistime Sadako was only a twelve year old little girland she died of Leukemia. Everyday Sadakogrew weaker and weaker thinking about her deathand the day finally came. Sadako died on October25, 1955.

    Sadako was very much loved by all ofher classmates. At the time of death, herclassmates folded 356 paper cranes to be buriedwith her. This is a symbol in Jpan ofthoughtfulness. In summary to what I have learnedabout Leukemia it is a very painful disease. Thepeople with Leukemia suffer very much throughoutthe disease and treatment of the disease, even ifthey are eventually cured.

    The treatment ittook to get there was very painful. The studies ofLeukemia have helped alot of people to be curedbut there are still alot of people suffering due to nocure found to help them. I’m sure like all othercures needed, the money is short funded for theresearch that cost so very much. Maybe somedaysoon, we hope, they will find a cure for all kinds ofcancer.

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