August 13, 2019
The term "acute" means that leukemia can progress rapidly. Leukemia is a blood cancer that begins when healthy blood cells change and proliferate uncontrollably. ACUTE LYMPHOCYTIC LEUKEMIA (LLA) is also called ACUTE LYMPHOBLASTIC LEUKEMIA. The term "acute" means that leukemia can progress rapidly while "lymphocytic" means that it originates from the early (immature) forms of lymphocytes.
Lymphocytes are produced in the bone marrow and in their healthy state fight bacterial and viral infections.
In people with ALL, new lymphocytes do not develop, but remain immature cells, known as lymphoblasts.
ALL consists of an abnormal increase in lymphoblasts, these are incompetent in the defense of infections and their exorbitant number displaces the normal cells of the bone marrow causing a decrease in normal red blood cells, platelets and white blood cells which generates a series of sufferings:
* ANEMIA, due to the very small amount of red blood cells, producing fatigue, irritability, drowsiness, paleness, shortness of breath and fast heartbeat.
* HEMATOMAS OR BLEEDING may appear more easily after an injury, as the blood cannot coagulate normally if the platelet count is low.
* The development of FREQUENT INFECTIONS, as many types of white blood cells are needed to fight them.
As it is an acute leukemia, the symptoms will be abruptly established and will progress at great speed. Also, when lymphoblasts leave the bloodstream and invade other organs, enlarged nodes can be seen, as well as enlarged liver and spleen. They can also invade the central nervous system, testicles, ovaries or thymus.
For the Institute of Interventional Oncology (IDOI Mexico) it is important to remind you that many of the signs and symptoms of ALL are nonspecific, that is, they also occur in other types of diseases, so it is important to talk with your doctor if you have some of them.