Question about Leukemia?

People with leukemia have an elevated WBC count, but they are very vulnerable to infections. Why is that?

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  • 1 decade ago
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    Leukemia is a disease of the bone marrow, creating excessive development on white blood cells. Despite that, they remain vulnerable to infection, just as you mentioned. The answer to your question is two fold. The mutation that causes the cells to develop rapidly create mutated white blood cells that don't really know how to do their job, so to speak. The other reason is that the bone marrow gets crowded, and forces the cells into circulation before their fully developed. This is like giving a gun to a 10 year old and sending him to war. It's just not going to work.

    In order to have a fully functioning immune system, you need cells that are both functional and mature. Sadly, people with leukemia have neither.

    Source(s): I'm a medical oncology nurse.
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    leukemia is a horrible cancer disease if one person is infected the chance of him surviving if less because the lukemia causes the body to worn out make the blood clot the body's immunity system fails completely and the patient cannot fight back the only method to cure the leukemia is by transfusion of matching bone marrow of the same siblings

  • 1 decade ago

    Their body is working so hard to fight off leukemia that their immune system is at zero! A lot of times that is how people get diagnosed with leukemia. They get like pneumonia or something.

  • 1 decade ago

    Their white blood cells are not doing their job properly. The elevated levels would logically help get rid of anything bad in the blood, but they are too busy attacking the sick persons healthy tissues. The white blood cells don't properly identify threats.

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