Doctor insights on:
Can You Catch Leukemia
Leukemia is a malignant hematologic neoplasm that originates in the bone marrow and represents a clonal proliferation of hematopoietic elements belonging to any of the myeloid, lymphoid, erythroid, and megakaryocytic lineages. Of note, other hematologic neoplasms like lymphoma or myeloma may demonstrate a leukemic phase without actually originating in the bone marrow ...Read more
Anyone...: can get leukemia. Rarely some individuals might inherit a familial disposition, and a few occupational exposures may increase risk (radiation or benzene exposure). More often it occurs from a series of random mutations that happens by bad luck in a single bone marrow stem cell. These mutations causes it to increase in number dramatically, pushing out healthy cells, but leaves them under developed. ...Read moreSee 2 more doctor answers
Leukemia cause: We don't know for sure. Leukemia develops as the consequence of a series of genetic changes in blood cell offsprings. These changes alter normal growth and differentiation of the cells, resulting in an accumulation of abnormal, immature blood cells in the bone marrow and peripheral blood. Exposure to chemicals, radiation, tobacco, or chemotherapy, infection, etc have been associated with leukemia. ...Read more
No necessarily: Long time ago that was true. But the modern treatments for leukemias are quite effective and are often curative. But the treatment is best done at a cancer center where you can find experienced leukemia specialists especially if it is an acute leukemia(as opposed to chronic leukemias which are less serious and easier to treat). ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Taste changes: When you are not feeling well ( having leukemia) etc - you can have some alteration of the sense of tase. In addition distortion of the sense of taste ( dysgeusia) can be also caused by other things like drugs- eg. Antibiotics, asthma treatment, chemotherapy, zinc deficiency etc. ...Read more
Drugs +/- radiation: Various chemotherapy drugs and new targeted therapies are used that preferentially kill cancer cells while minimizing side effects. Sometimes radiation is used alone or in addition to drugs depending on the type and stage of cancer. This is a discussion you will have with your cancer team during which you should have ample opportunity to ask questions. Take a pad and paper with you. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
CBCj, flow cytometry: Leukemia is suspected when abnormal cells our found in the blood, or when blood counts are very low. The first test is the CBC (complete blood count). If abnormal cells are in the blood, they can be identified by flow cytometry, which analyzes compounds on the surface of blood cells. The definitive test otherwise is a bone marrow aspirate and biopsy, usually taken from the pelvic bone. ...Read more
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