Leukemia is a blood cancer, and there are 3 different types. AML - Acute Mylode Leukemia & ALL (and I'm sorry I don't remember the exact name) and another cronic type. Each one has a different strain to it. My son was diagnosed with AML M7 Leukemia at age 15.
ALL is a very slow cancer that takes about a year to detect and by then it's very tough to fight. AML is a very rapid cancer that take days to a few weeks to detect.
The way it was explained to me was that at the very moment when the cells are dividing into what they are to be..white cell. red cell and so on, you catch a cold (as in my son's case) or cut your self or have some type of "trauma" to your body, that trauma effects the spliting of the cells and instead of turning into what they were ment to be, they turn into cancer cells. It can happen at any time to anyone, we are all born with cancer cells in our body, but it doesn't mean that everyone will get cancer. It all depends on the timing of the division of cells.
Once it is detected, which starts with a blood test (CBC) and then further tests to make sure what kind it is. And treatments vary from patient to patient. Chemo, radiation, stem cell transplant, bone marrow transplant, blood and platlet transfusions are all different types they use in various combinations.
Patients can and most do, lose hair, lose weight, lose appitites, go into depression, nasusea, and other "flu" like symptoms. They lose thier dignity, pride and hope often, but with a strong circle of friends and family to help them get through it, they can go into remission!
A mother, sister and granddaughter of cancer patients