The childhood leukemia is the cancer which starts in the bone marrow and then can spreads to the blood, lymph nodes, the spleen, liver, central nervous system and other organs, which is the cancer of white blood cells is leukemia.
Both children and adults can develop leukemia. The leukemia which develops in children is the childhood leukemia.
Sometimes leukemia may often be mistaken as those other types of cancer which start in organs and then spread to the bone marrow or elsewhere.
Childhood leukemia is a complex disease which is further divided into different types and sub types. Childhood leukemia treatment varies from child to child as the type of disease varies and also as the other individual factors differ.
The different types of childhood leukemia differ in their own way as how they develop, whom they affect, and how they are treated.
Types of Childhood Leukemia
Childhood Leukemia or leukemia for that matter can be either fast growing or slower growing. The fast growing type of this disease is the acute type and the later is the chronic. Almost all childhood leukemia’s in children are acute.
Acute leukemia is divided further into 2 sub types:
- Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) or Acute lymphoblastic leukemia
- Acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) or acute myeloid leukemia
Childhood Leukemia Symptoms or Signs of Childhood Leukemia
The white blood cells are the infection fighting cells, as these cells are defective in the childhood leukemia kids they may experience increased episodes of fevers and infections.
Due to affect on the bone marrow’s production of oxygen-carrying red blood cells it may lead to anemia. If observed this condition results is a pale appearance leading to tiredness and short of breath while playing.
Childhood Leukemia kids may also bruise and bleed very easily, experience frequent nosebleeds, or bleed for an unusually long time after even a minor cut because leukemia destroys the bone marrow's ability to produce clot-forming platelets.
Other childhood leukemia symptoms may include:
- Bone and joint pain sometimes causing a limp
- Swollen lymph nodes (sometimes called swollen glands) in the neck, groin, or elsewhere
- An abnormally tired feeling
- Either loss of appetite or poor appetite
On the other hand if ALL spreads to the lymph nodes inside the chest, the enlarged gland can crowd the trachea which is called the windpipe and important blood vessels. This blocks the windpipe leading to breathing problems. Also this condition may complicate the situation by interfering in the blood flow mechanism to and from the heart.
The childhood leukemia symptoms differ in different cases depending on the spread and behavior of the disease. For example in about 12% of children with AML childhood leukemia and 6% of children with ALL the spread of disease to the brain causes general and common symptoms like headaches, abnormal vision, seizures and balance problems.