Leukemia or leukaemia is a type of cancer that starts in the bone marrow and leads to excessively high numbers of malignant white blood cells. These underdeveloped white blood cells are known as blasts or leukemia cells. The primary symptoms of leukemia are abnormal bleeding and bruising disorders, excessive fatigue and tiredness, frequent infections – all these happen due to the lack of normal blood cells.
Typical blood tests can diagnose the presence of leukemia; if not then bone marrow biopsy is recommended. There is nothing definite that explains why you may be prone to suffering from Leukemia and not your friend. But there are a few theories that identify some reasons which may be causing Leukemia. Let us take a look.
Factors that Raise Risk of Leukemia
If you have a job that requires you to be in places that have a high rate of radiation then you can contract this disease. A nuclear plant is an apt example. Also if you have suffered from catastrophic accidents like atomic bomb explosion (Hiroshima and Nagasaki) or the Chernobyl then the chances become quite high.
Even medical treatments that involve radiation can cause this disease. There are those cases when scientists also suffer from radiation problems especially if they are handling radioactive substances for an experiment or research.
If you have suffered from cancer before and also gone through chemotherapies then the high level of benzene used on you may be a big cause for you to suffer from leukemia.
Genetic abnormalities like Down syndrome can also cause leukemia.
Certain Blood Disorder
There are several types of blood disorders but some are dangerous enough to cause Leukemia in you. One such disease is called Myelodysplastic syndrome. If you are suffering from it and are being treated for it then it may be a good idea to ask your doctor to diagnose you for Leukemia so that it is not too late.
Every cigarette pack has a statutory warning and you know all about the ill effects of smoking. But you still want a puff. Now here is a little incentive to stop smoking. The cigarettes that you smoke will not only accumulate tar in your lungs but also potentially cause Leukemia. This actually develops in the form of acute myelogenous leukemia.
If you have a family history that states your previous generations have suffered from Leukemia, then there is no time to waste. You must visit a doctor and get yourself checked. The risk in this case increases considerably.
Human T-cell Leukemia Virus-I (HTLV-I)
This virus is dangerous and it causes a chronic lymphocytic leukemia known as human T-cell leukemia which is rare and deadly.