What are the different types of leukemia? Leukemia is an illness of the blood. It is characterized as a disease that disturbs and distresses cells that form the blood. They can begin from different places, but most commonly they begin from the bone marrow. The most distinguishing feature of leukemia is the overabundance of white blood cells due to the abnormal blood cell production. There are four main types of leukemia. However, they are first classified into two, acute or chronic.
Acute leukemia is among the types of leukemia that are developed from early cells. These early cells are called blasts. These cells normally divide normally alone. When it comes to leukemia, blasts don stop dividing, causing problems in the blood. Acute leukemia is mainly divided into two more types of leukemia, ALL or acute lymphocytic leukemia and acute myeloid leukemia or AML. The ALL, as the acronym denotes, distresses lymphoid cells and causes them to grow quickly. They are actually accounted for 5000 new leukemia cases every year. Among children, these are the types of leukemia that are most common. But there are also quite a number of adults that gets this. The AML, on the other hand, are types of leukemia wherein myeloid cells are affected. This causes the myeloid cells to grow quickly, causing imbalance. They are mostly seen in both children and adults. They are also more common than the ALL, as they are accounted for about 13000 new cases every year.
Chronic leukemia is among the types of leukemia that come from mature and abnormal cells. They are thriving too long, therefore they accumulate. The problem about the chronic leukemia is that they can be hidden during the early stages as they allow white blood cells to work normally. Therefore, there are no symptoms that are showing. Most of the time, chronic leukemia are detected when routine checkup is done, if there are no symptoms showing yet. But just like the other cancer kinds, these types of leukemia can get worse as time goes by. One of the most common symptoms of these types of leukemia includes lymph nodes and other infections.
Chronic leukemia is subdivided into two other types of leukemia – CLL and CML wherein CLL stands for chronic lymphocytic leukemia and CML stands for chronic myeloid leukemia. The CLL chronic leukemia affects the lymphoid cells. These cells get affected badly and cause them to grow slowly.
Every year, there are somewhere around 15000 new cases of the CLL. However, most of the time the CLL affects only adults that are over 55 years of age. The CML, on the other hand, affects the myeloid cells. At first, they will cause the cells to grow slowly but this rate gradually increases. Much like the CLL, the CML affects mostly adults as well. Also, like the CLL, the CML very rarely affects children too. Aside from these four main types, we also have the hairy cell leukemia. This is a type that is very rare and there less than 6000 cases so far.