Leukaemia (sometimes spelt as leukemia) is a cancer of the white blood cells. It is named according to the type of white blood cell which is affected and whether it is acute (faster growing) or chronic (slower growing).

TYPES OF LEUKAEMIA

Leukaemia is named according to the type of blood cell affected and how long it takes before the patient starts experiencing symptoms.

Acute leukaemia comes on suddenly, often within days or weeks, progressing quickly and need to be treated urgently.

Chronic leukaemia develop more slowly, often over many months or years.

The type of Leukaemia also depends on the blood cells affected. Normally, the bone marrow produces immature cells known as stem cells that mature into different types of blood cells over time. A stem cell may either become a myeloid stem cell or a lymphoid stem cell.

A lymphoid stem cell mature to become white blood cell whereas a myeloid stem cell matures to become either a red blood cell, a white blood cell or a platelet.

Red blood cells mainly carry oxygen around the body.

White blood cells fight infection.

Platelets stop bleeding by forming a blood clots.

The four common types of Leukaemia based on the classification above include:

Chronic myeloid (CML); Approximately 600 people in the UK are diagnosed with CML each year. It can occur at any age but is more common in middle-aged and older people. It’s rare in children.For more information on CML please click the link Here.
Acute myeloid (AML); It can affect people at any age but is more common in people over 65. Around 2,500 people are diagnosed with AML each year in the UK. For more information on AML please click the link Here.
Chronic lymphocytic (CLL); Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) is the most common type of leukaemia. About 2,700 people in the UK are diagnosed with it each year. CLL usually develops very slowly and many people don’t need treatment for months or years. However, some people need to have treatment straight away.For more information on CLL please click the link Here.
Acute lymphoblastic (ALL). ALL occurs most frequently in children under 15; in adults it is most common between the ages of 15-25 and in people over 75. It’s slightly more common in males than in females.For more information on ALL please click the link Here.

Other types of leukaemia

Adult T-cell leukaemia lymphoma (ATL); is a form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, linked to human T-cell leukaemia/lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1). The three major routes of HTLV-1 transmission are mother-to-child infections via breast milk, sexual intercourse, and blood transfusions.

For more information on Hairy Cell please click the link http://www.macmillan.org.uk/Cancerinformation/Cancertypes/Leukaemia/Hairycellleukaemia.aspx.

5 ESSENTIAL FACTS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT LEUKAEMIA

1) Leukemia is a cancer of the blood and marrow, which is the spongy center inside of the bones where blood cells are made.

 2) The four major types of leukemia are:

 3) Leukemia is the most common cancer in children and teens younger than 20, accounting for almost one out of three cancers.

 4) Acute leukemias are the rapidly progressing diseases, and chronic leukemias usually progress more slowly.

 5) Leukemia can happen at any age, but is most common in people over 60.