It is a well- known fact that what causes leukemia is not known. There are several theories, but those theories have not been proven. Some of the theories relate to possibility of family hereditary. It is a theory that leukemia could possibly be caused by radiation of where a person is employed. The research is still in progress to find more answers out about the cause of leukemia.
The symptoms of leukemia are varied and many of these symptoms could relate to many other different ailments. This is one reason why leukemia is so difficult to diagnose. A person can start having fever and sweat during the night. The fever and sweat might be caused by a simple virus. A person might start developing infections on a regular basis. All of these particular symptoms could also be signs of diabetes.
If the symptoms persist it is important to follow up with your doctor. A person might develop headaches and tests would need to be run as to why the headaches started, and the cause of those headaches. The headaches might be caused by a brain tumor, or stress at work or home. A person might start bleeding from the gums or anal area and it could be caused by gingivitis or hemorrhoids. There is also joint pain that could be caused by arthritis. Sometimes swelling will occur around the stomach area, and until further tests are conducted and the results are known, it could take some time to come to an accurate diagnosis.
There are four different types of leukemia, and one type of leukemia will attack people over the age of 50 and does not affect children at all. Another type of leukemia will grow slowly within the cells and is very difficult to diagnose until it has advanced too far to do anything about it. The third and fourth types of leukemia affects both children and adults and both grow rapidly, and they are both known to be the most common type of leukemia known to medical professionals.
Many patients can find out early through a yearly physical exam with their doctor if they have leukemia. Many know they have certain symptoms, but usually ignore them thinking they are caused by other sources. When a doctor checks your neck and finds a swollen area tests can be performed right away to determine what is causing the swelling. Many times such a swelling comes on slowly and is not noticed by the patient.
This is why it is a good idea to see your doctor every year even if you do not notice any chances in your health. This gives the doctor time to run blood work to find out if the white blood cells count has become abnormal. The earlier the symptoms are determined the longer life a person will be able to live.
Once it is determined what type of leukemia the patient has the next step is to decide what type of treatment is the best to use. Some patients would be entered into a chemotherapy program for a certain amount of time, and then re-tested to see what the next best step would be to take. Other patients would be put on a radiation therapy program for a certain amount of time, and once again be re-tested and see what would be the best alternative for them.
It can take a long time to diagnose leukemia depending on how cooperative the patient is, and when the patient finally goes into the doctor to report the symptoms, and the physical condition and age of the patient also has a big effect on how quickly the leukemia spreads.
As far as surviving leukemia that depends on several factors. If the leukemia is found early enough and it is the type of leukemia that grows slowly there is a chance that the treatment of chemotherapy, radiation or a bone marrow transplant will give the patient a chance at life. When a patient goes into remission and stays in remission for five years there is a good possibility that the disease is completely gone. It is still important to see their doctor every year even after the five year remission.