Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia

July 22, 2015 - acuteleukemia

Acute lymphocytic leukemia is a cancer that usually starts in the early version of lymphocytes in the bone marrow. It is very malignant and is able to spread throughout the body quickly. Acute lymphocytic leukemia can spread into lymph nodes, liver, spleen, the central nervous system, and testicles.

“Acute” means that the leukemia can progress rapidly. It is possible to be fatal within a few months if not treated. “Lymphocytic” means that it develops from early stages of lymphocytes.

Acute lymphocytic leukemia mainly affects the blood and bone marrow. Sometimes when the cancer is first diagnosed, it is found in both places. If it is found in both places then it becomes difficult to tell if the cancer is leukemia or lymphoma.

If more than 25% of the bone marrow consists of cancerous lymphocytes, the disease is most likely leukemia. The bigger the size of lymph nodes, the more likely the disease is lymphoma.

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