writing a story with a girl that has leukemia? help?

I researched types of leukemias and I didn't completely understand most of them. :( Like for example Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML), I was going to use it but I realized this is only common to adults. The character in my story is just 16 years old and suffering from Leukemia (which i still don't know what type it is) but now she's dying. Any knowledge on how the doctor tells the girl character that it's deep and cannot cure anymore? XD Thanks so much

1 Answer

  • 9 years ago
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    There are two forms of Leukemia, the acute form is the aggressive kind that develops very quickly, producing severe symptoms in a matter of weeks or months (Silverstein 40). The second form of Leukemia is chronic; it is milder than the acute form and develops more slowly, usually over a period of years (Siegel 55). The patient may not have serious signs of illness (Silverstein 40). There are also two forms of leukemia; lymphocytic or myelogenous (“Leukemia& Lymphoma Society”-Web). Lymphocytic leukemia affects white blood cells called lymphocytes (“Leukemia & Lymphoma Society”-Web). Myelogenous leukemia affects white blood cells called myelocytes (“Leukemia& Lymphoma Society”-Web).

    Acute Myeloid Leukemia is a cancer of the bone marrow and the blood that progresses quickly without treatment (“Leukemia& Lymphoma Society”-Web). It affects cells that are not yet fully developed (“Leukemia& Lymphoma Society”-Web). These cells cannot carry out their normal functions (“Leukemia& Lymphoma Society”-Web). That is one reason why it's important to get care and treatment as soon as possible (“Leukemia& Lymphoma Society”-Web). With treatment, people who have AML continue to see improved results (“Silverstein 56). In AML, bad stem cells grow quickly in the blood-forming cells and they cause problems with the normal process of the cells (“American Cancer Fund” – Web). That causes many immature cells or baby cells called myeloblasts or blasts (“American Cancer Fund” – Web). Blasts are immature cells that grow too fast and overtake the healthy blood cells (“American Cancer Fund” – Web). People with AML are usually anemic, because they do not have enough red blood cells, can get easier infections, because they do not have enough mature neutrophils, and bruise and bleed easily, because of a low level of platelets (“American Cancer Fund” – Web). AML is mostly in the blood and bone marrow but it can sometimes also be in other parts of the body, like the brain, skin, and gums (“American Cancer Fund” – Web). Sometimes, AML cells can make a tumor called a myeloid sarcoma or chloroma that may be located anywhere in the body (“American Cancer Fund” – Web).

    The second type of Leukemia is Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia. People with ALL, abnormal cells outgrow other types of cells in the bone marrow, making red blood cells grow less, other types of white blood cells, and platelets (“Leukemia”-Web). This means that people with ALL can be anemic, because they do not have enough red blood cells, more likely to get infections, because they do not have enough of the type of white blood cells called neutrophils that fight bacteria, and bruise or bleed easily because of a low level of platelets (“American Cancer Fund” – Web). Lymphoblast’s may also collect in a person’s lymph tissues and swell the glands (“American Cancer Fund” – Web). Some cells may invade other organs, including the brain, liver, spleen, or testicles in the men (“American Cancer Fund” – Web). Unlike other types of cancer, the spread of ALL to other parts of the body does not mean the cancer is in an advanced stage because acute leukemia is usually found throughout the body when it is diagnosed (“American Cancer Fund” – Web). ALL is the most treatable form of Leukemia (Silverstein 40).

    The third type of Leukemia is Chronic Myeloid Leukemia. (CML) Chronic Myeloid Leukemia is a very rare form of Leukemia, especially in children (Silverstein 45). CML is a cancer of white blood cells (“American Cancer Fund” – Web). CML is detected by the increased and high growing of important myeloid cells in the bone marrow and the growth of these cells in the blood (“American Cancer Fund” – Web). CML is a slow-growing type of leukemia in which the body produces an uncontrolled number of abnormal white blood cells (“Leukemia”-Web). As the white blood cells increase and the blood platelets also increase, the number of red blood cells decrease (Siegel 37).

    The fourth type is Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia. (CLL) Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia causes a slow increase in the number of white blood cells called B lymphocytes, or B cells, in the bone marrow (Siegel 39). The cancerous cells spread from the blood marrow to the blood, and can also affect the lymph nodes or other organs such as the liver and spleen. CLL causes the bone marrow to fail; resulting in low blood counts, and weakens the immune system (“Definition”-Web). CLL affects mostly adults, the average age of patients with CLL is 70, it is barely seen in people younger than 40 (“Definition”-Web). For some reason we are unsure of the disease is more common in Jewish people of Russian or East European descent, and is barely seen in Asians (“Definition”-Web).

    Source(s): Part of my Junior year research paper :)--hope it helps!
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