Leukemia affects patients of all ages, at Franciscan Health our team of oncologists approaches treatment with personalized care.
What is Leukemia?
Leukemia is a cancer of the blood, bone marrow and lymphatic system. Leukemia does not produce a mass (tumor), but results in the overproduction of abnormal white blood cells. The white blood cells build up and block the production of red blood cells and platelets, which help the body form clots to prevent bleeding. As a result, people with leukemia are at risk for bruising, bleeding and infections.
There are several subtypes of leukemia, but the four main forms are:
- Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL)
- Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)
- Acute myeloid leukemia (AML)
- Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML)
Leukemia may be diagnosed by a physical exam or routine blood tests. If your blood tests are not normal, a bone marrow biopsy may be needed to confirm the diagnosis. During this procedure, the doctor removes a sample of bone marrow tissue from a bone in your hip.