Leukemia - Symptoms, Types, and Treatment in India

Leukemia is a cancer present in the blood-forming tissues of the body, especially the bone marrow and lymphatic system. Although in all three types of blood cells: Red Blood Cells (RBCs), White Blood Cells (WBCs), and platelets, Leukemia generally involves white blood cells.

White blood cells in the body are responsible for fighting infection, thereby strengthening the immunity system of the body. In patients suffering from Leukemia, the bone marrow generates abnormal and dysfunctional white blood cells, which do not deliver the same function as white blood cells do.

Some types of Leukemia can occur more commonly in children, while other forms of Leukemia are more common in adults.

Classification of Leukemia

Leukemia is commonly classified on two factors:

  1. How fast it progresses
  2. The type of cells which it targets

The first category is divided further into two sub-categories:

  • Acute leukemia: In acute leukemia, the blood cells that cause leukemia are immature in nature as their functions are abnormal. The immature blood cells (blasts) rapidly, making Leukemia cancer severe and needs timely treatment.
  • Chronic leukemia: There are many conditions that cause different types of Chronic Leukemia. In some conditions, the cell growth may be abnormally high, while in other cases abnormally low. However, Chronic leukemia involves more mature blood cells. 

The second type is classified by the type of white blood cell affected:

  • Lymphocytic leukemia: This type of leukemia targets the lymphoid cells, also called lymphocytes that form lymphatic tissue which builds the immune system in the body. 
  • Myelogenous leukemia: This type of leukemia targets the myeloid cells in the body which are responsible to give rise to red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelet-producing cells.

Common Types of Leukemia

There are commonly 4 types of Leukemia that occur in the blood cells. They are:

1. Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL):

ALL is the largest occurring type of leukemia that targets young children but can also occur in adults. The rapid growth of immature lymphoid cells in the bloodstream causes this type of Leukemia

2. Acute myelogenous leukemia (AML):

AML is another common type of leukemia that occurs in both children and adults. Due to the rapid growth of myeloid cells

3. Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL):

CLL is another commonly occurring Chronic Leukemia that occurs in the lymphoid cells of adults.

4. Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML):

This type of leukemia targets adults. A person with CML may have very few symptoms for months or years as this is a slow-growing cancer of lymphoid cells that usually happens in adults over 55-60 years of age.

5. Other types:

Other types of leukemia also exist, but they are much rarer. These types include hairy cell leukemia, myelodysplastic syndromes, and myeloproliferative disorders.

Is thrombocytopenia a leukemia?

Thrombocytopenia is a condition where the platelets in your blood are not working as well as they should. This can happen for a variety of reasons, including being exposed to certain chemicals or getting a viral infection. When thrombocytopenia is severe, it can lead to a dangerous condition called leukemia.

Thrombocytopenia is a condition in which the number of platelets in the blood is low. The condition is most commonly caused by a decreased production of platelets in the bone marrow. There are many different types of thrombocytopenia, including immune thrombocytopenia, idiopathic thrombocytopenia, and acquired thrombocytopenia. Thrombocytopenia can be an indication of leukemia or myelodysplastic syndrome.

Thrombocytopenia is a condition in which the blood has too few platelets. Platelets are cells that help blood clot. When the number of platelets is low, it can cause bruising, bleeding, and pain. Thrombocytopenia can be caused by an autoimmune disorder, blood cancer, or infection.

Symptoms of Leukemia

Leukemia symptoms may differ from person to person on the stage of leukemia cancer and its type. Common leukemia signs and symptoms include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Persistent fatigue and weakness
  • Frequent or severe infections
  • Drastic weight loss without any effort
  • Swollen lymph nodes, enlarged liver or spleen
  • Easy bleeding or bruising
  • Recurrent nosebleeds
  • Tiny red spots in your skin called petechiae
  • Excessive sweating, especially at night
  • Bone pain or tenderness
  • Enlargement of liver or spleen

Leukemia Treatment

Leukemia treatment is highly required for a person who has been diagnosed with Leukemia cancer. Since Leukemia is a cancer of the blood, which is present throughout our body, it is essential to kill the cause of cancer, i.e. the abnormal blood cells killing the normal blood cells in the body. There are several options for Leukemia treatment. However, they are chosen according to the stage, age, and overall health condition of the patient. The Leukemia treatment options are:

1. Chemotherapy:

is the most common form of Leukemia treatment which is done over several weeks via administration of drugs via several kinds of injections to kill the blood cancer cells.

2. Biological Therapy:

Biological therapy is done by the principle of administering biological drugs that help your immune system to identify and attack leukemia cells.

3. Targeted Therapy:

This includes administering the patient with a number of drugs that will particularly hit the leukemia cancer cells and their constituents. The treatment is usually performed in combination with chemotherapy.

4. Radiation therapy:

Radiation therapy is a Leukemia treatment that is widely used to treat inoperable tumor cells. Radiation Therapy consists of X-rays or even stronger waves like the Ultra-violet (UV) rays.

In some cases, chemotherapy is coupled with radiation therapy for more effective Leukemia treatment.

However, before this transplant, the diseased bone marrow needs to be completely destroyed. This is done via high doses of chemotherapy or radiation therapy. After which you are infused with blood-forming stem cells that help to rebuild your bone marrow.

Most of the time, your own healthy stem cells from different parts of the body are infused into you, which may not be the case if most of the stem cells in the body are affected. Thus, you may then require a stem cell donor.

Leukemia Survival Rate

It is obviously recommended that the patient opts for Leukemia Treatment as soon as the cancer is diagnosed. This is because if treated at later stages, the survival rate significantly drops. The five-year survival rate for Leukemia is usually around 60.6% which may vary according to the condition, stage, and quality of Leukemia treatment received.

What are the environmental risk factors for leukemia?

Leukemia is a cancer of the blood and bone marrow. In order to get leukemia, a person must be exposed to certain chemicals or radiation. There are many environmental risk factors for leukemia, including exposure to chemicals, radiation, and smoking. It is important to be aware of these risk factors in order to lower your chances of getting leukemia.

One of the environmental risk factors for leukemia is exposure to high levels of radiation from a nuclear power plant accident. The radiation exposure can lead to genetic damage and gene mutations. These mutations are passed on to future generations and may cause leukemia in people who were not exposed to the radiation at the time.

Scientists have been studying the environmental risk factors for leukemia for a long time. A recent study found that children who are born to mothers who were exposed to pesticides during pregnancy had a higher risk of developing leukemia than those who were not exposed. This is because pesticides can cause changes in the blood cells and lead to leukemia.


There are different types of leukemia, and the treatment for each type differs. People with leukemia may have a lower than the normal number of red blood cells and white blood cells, which can lead to tiredness and fatigue. They may also have anemia, which is when the number of red blood cells is too low.

Leukemia is the most common type of childhood cancer, but it can also affect adults. The most common symptoms of leukemia are fatigue, fever, night sweats, weight loss, and easy bruising. With leukemia, the immune system does not recognize and fight off infections as it should.

Leukemia FAQs

How does leukemia affect the body?

The effects of leukemia can range from mild to severe, depending on the type and stage of the disease. Some people with leukemia may have a prolonged period of remission, while others may have a short period of remission before relapsing. Some people with leukemia may have a long period of remission before the disease returns again. Leukemia can also cause anemia, which is when the number of red blood cells in the body decreases and there is not enough oxygen being carried to the rest of the body.
Leukemia is a type of cancer that affects the body's bone marrow, which is the tissue that produces blood cells. It is the most common form of cancer in children, and it usually affects children who are under 15 years old.

What are the most likely side effects of leukemia treatment?

The side effects of leukemia treatment vary depending on the type of treatment you have and the drugs you are given. One of the side effects of leukemia treatment is nausea and vomiting. This is because chemotherapy causes the body to use up its stores of iron, which can make you feel nauseous and vomit.
The most common side effects of leukemia treatment are fatigue, nausea, and pain. These side effects can be reduced by taking your prescribed medications as prescribed, not missing any doses, and taking the proper supplements. Other side effects of leukemia treatment include hair loss, weight loss, and changes in skin pigmentation.
There are many side effects of leukemia treatment, but they can be avoided if you take the proper precautions. Some of the most common side effects of leukemia treatment are hair loss, fever, chills, and weight loss. One of the most serious side effects is a weakened immune system. It is important to have a healthy diet, exercise, and lots of rest to avoid these side effects.

Can blood cancer patients recover?

Blood cancer patients often have to undergo long, difficult treatments and endure extreme discomfort. It's hard to imagine what it would be like to battle blood cancer and live a full life. But the truth is that some blood cancer patients are able to recover and live a full life. They can have treatment at home, go to a hospital for a few days, or even spend a few weeks at home with their family before returning to the hospital for outpatient treatment. Some blood cancer patients can recover and live a full life.
Blood cancer patients can recover, but they need the right treatment and care. Learn more about blood cancer, how it is diagnosed, and how treatment affects blood cancer patients.
Blood cancer patients often have a difficult time recovering from their condition. However, there are many ways that they can recover. First, they should be able to get enough rest and sleep to give their body and mind the time they need to heal. They should also have a support system of friends and family to help them through the tough times. Most importantly, patients should be able to find a good doctor that they trust who will work with them on their recovery plan.

Does blood in stool mean cancer?

Blood in your feces or stool can be an indication of bowel cancer. However, it can be due to other reasons. If you are stressed about symptoms of cancer or anything that may lead to cancer, check your GP. the blood in the stool can result from piles, specifically if it is bright red or fresh blood. You must consult a doctor to know the valid reason for blood in the stool.

Does colon cancer show up in a blood test?

Blood tests cannot state that you have colon cancer. Your doctor asks for a blood test to get information about your total health. It can be of your liver and kidney function tests. Further, your doctor may ask you for a test to detect chemicals made by colon cancers in your body.

How long does a leukemia patient live?

A patient above age 20 with leukemia can survive for five years, though the chances are 40%. The five-year survival rate for a patient below age 20 is 89 percent. Further, technological advancement has increased the lifespan of people with ALL. However, the survival chances depend on many factors, like the person’s age and the biological characteristics of the illness.

Does CBC test detect cancer?

Doctors conduct the CBC test to support diagnosis and monitor cancer. It detects how cancer and its medicine influence your body. For instance, people experiencing chemotherapy usually obtain frequent CBCs. Further, doctors use CBC to support the diagnosis of a few blood cancers like lymphoma and leukemia.

Is leukemia dangerous?

Many leukemia cells and too few normal cells are dangerous for many reasons. These leukemia cells make your body unfit. Further, they overtake the space normal blood cells require to multiply and mature in the bone marrow.

Does leukemia return after recovery?

Relapsed ALL (Acute lymphoblastic leukemia) refers to the comeback of ALL in patients who have had prior illness therapy. Between 15 and 20% of children who received therapy for ALL and accomplished a complete recovery can have the illness return.

Is high platelets a leukemia?

If you have high platelets count, it doesn’t always mean that you have severe disease. High platelets often refer to a temporary circumstance or condition like recent surgery or infection. However, high platelets can be linked with some severe conditions like cancer. So, you must consult your doctor for the accurate reason for high platelets or thrombocytosis.