Cancer: Pediatric Leukemia~
- Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL)
Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia, also called lymphoblastic or lymphoid, accounts for most of the childhood leukemias. In this form of the disease, the lymphocyte cell line is affected. The lymphocytes normally fight infection. With acute lymphocytic leukemia, the bone marrow makes too many of these lymphocytes and they do not mature correctly. The lymphocytes overproduce, thus, crowding out other blood cells. Immature blood cells (blasts) do not work properly to fight infection. Acute leukemia can occur over a short period of days to weeks. Chromosome abnormalities (extra chromosomes and structural changes in the chromosome material) are present in the majority of ALL patients.
Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML)
Acute Myelogenous Leukemia, also called granulocytic, myelocytic, myeloblastic, or myeloid, accounts for mostly the remainder of the childhood leukemias. Acute myelogenous leukemia is a cancer of the blood in which too many granulocytes, a type of white blood cell, are produced in the marrow. The granulocytes normally fight infection. With acute myelogenous leukemia, the bone marrow makes too many of these cells and they do not mature correctly. The granulocytes overproduce, thus, crowding out other blood cells. Immature blood cells (blasts) do not work properly to fight infection. Acute leukemia can occur over a short period of days to weeks. Children with certain genetic syndromes, including Fanconi anemia, Bloom syndrome, Kostmann syndrome, and Down syndrome, are at a higher risk of developing AML than other children.
- Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML)
Chronic myelogenous leukemia is uncommon in children. Chronic myelogenous leukemia is cancer of the blood in which too many granulocytes, a type of white blood cell, are produced in the marrow. The granulocytes normally fight infection. With this disease, the bone marrow makes too many of these cells and they do not mature correctly. The marrow continues to produce these abnormal cells which crowd out other healthy blood cells. Chronic myelogenous leukemia can occur over a period of months or years. A specific chromosome rearrangement is found in almost all patients with CML. Part of chromosome #9 breaks off and attaches itself to chromosome #22, so that there is an exchange of genetic material between these two chromosomes. This rearrangement changes the position and functions of certain genes, which results in uncontrolled cell growth. Other chromosome abnormalities can also be present.
When red blood cells are unable to be produced because of the crowding in the marrow, anemia is present. With anemia, the child may appear tired, pale, and may breathe faster to compensate for the decrease in oxygen carrying capacity. The number of red blood cells on a blood count will be below normal.
- Bleeding and/or bruising
When platelets are unable to be produced because of the crowding in the marrow, bleeding can occur and the child may begin to bruise more easily. Petechia are tiny red dots often seen on the skin of a child with low number of platelets. Petechia are very small blood vessels that have "leaked" or bled. The number of platelets on a blood count will be below normal. Thrombocytopenia is the term used for a decreased number of platelets.
- Regular Sickness Symptoms
Although there may be an unusually high number of white blood cells on a blood count of a child with leukemia, these white blood cells are immature and do not fight infection. The child may have had repetitive viral or bacterial infections over the past few weeks. The child with leukemia often shows symptoms of an infection such as fever, runny nose, and cough.
bone and joint pain.
- Pain in Bones and Joints
Another common symptom of leukemia, this pain is usually a result of the bone marrow being overcrowded and "full."
- Abdominal Distress
Abdominal pain may also be a symptom of leukemia. Leukemia cells can collect in the kidney, liver, and spleen, causing enlargement of these organs. Pain in the abdomen may cause a child to have loss of appetite and weight loss.
swollen lymph nodes
The child may also have swelling in the lymph nodes under the arms, in the groin, chest, or in the neck. Lymph nodes are responsible for filtering the blood. Leukemia cells may collect in the nodes, causing swelling.
- Difficulty Breathing
These leukemia cells tend to clump together around the thymus. This mass of cells present in the middle of the chest can cause pain and difficulty breathing. Wheezing, coughing, and/or painful breathing requires immediate medical attention
Hope I helped out! I didn't write this totally, just say doctors are miracles :D
· 9 years ago