Be Aware of Leukemia in Children
Leukemia in children is cancer of the blood and develops in the bone marrow. The bone marrow is the soft, spongy center of certain bones that produces the three major blood cells: white blood cells to fight infection; red blood cells that carry oxygen; and platelets that help with blood clotting and stop bleeding. When leukemia in children exists, the bone marrow, for an unknown reason, begins to make white blood cells that do not mature correctly, but continue to reproduce themselves. Leukemia is the most common cancer in children and adolescents. It accounts for about 1 out of 3 cancers in children. Overall, however, leukemia in children is a rare disease.
Statistic of Leukemia in Children
Leukemia in children is most commonly diagnosed at ages 2 years old – 7 years old, the most is 4 years of age. American white children with leukemia are more than American black children. Leukemia in children is a malignancy of the largest at the children, all over the world to reach 30-40% of all malignancies of children. Leukemia incidence varies from country to country; this is related to how the diagnosis and reporting. Incidence of leukemia each year about 3.5 cases of 100,000 children under 15 years old. Acute leukemia in children reaches 97% of all leukemia in children, and consists of 2 types namely: Limfoblastik Acute Leukemia (ALL) 82% and Leukemia Mieloblastik (LMA) 18%. This is different from leukemia in adults, is ALL 15% and 85% LMA. Chronic Leukemia reach 3% of all leukemia in children.
Signs of Leukemia in Children
The most typical signs of leukemia in children include constant infections and fevers. This happens because white blood cells are defective and cannot offer the right amount or any protection at all against any ailments. Anemia is a common sign thus it is typical among children with such disorder. They usually look pale and are always feeling fatigue with usual incidents of shortness of breath because the cancer cells greatly affect oxygen levels. Signs of leukemia in children are very noticeable even at their early ages. Platelets are also greatly affected with leukemia. Because of less platelets children with such disease of blood clotting problems and is one of the common signs. Clotting problems include nosebleeds which are frequent, longer bleeding time, and easy bruising. Other signs involve joint and bone pain because of the buildup of the abnormal cells in the bone marrow. Other signs of leukemia in children include abdominal distress because leukemia cells can collect in the kidney, spleen, and liver causing them to enlarge. Apart from these signs, lymph nodes in the groin, armpit, and neck also become swollen. There are still other signs of leukemia in children including dyspnea.
Cause of Leukemia in Children
The majority of leukemia in children is acquired genetic diseases. This means that gene mutations and chromosome abnormalities in cells occur sporadically (by chance) and are not inherited from a parent. The immune system plays an important role in protecting the body from diseases, and possibly cancer. An alteration or defect in the immune system may increase the risk for developing leukemia. With the exception of specific genetic syndromes, little is known about the causes of childhood leukemia in children.