One of the deadliest diseases, leukemia is considered cancer of the bone marrow or blood. Patients suffering from this severe medical problem experience a beyond normal production of white blood cells. This blood disease belongs to a group of illnesses referred to as hematological neoplasms. Aside from these things, it is also good to know the other important aspects of this disease including who discovered leukemia.
The Discovery of Leukemia
Who discovered leukemia? According to medical history books, French bacteriologist Alfred Francois Donne discovered leukemia. He lived from 1801 to 1878. Aside from this disease, he also discovered the protozoan called Trichomonas vaginalis. Furthermore, he also credited for the invention of the photoelectric microscope.
Additional Facts and Other Important Information
Primarily, leukemia has four major kinds. These include chronic myelogenous leukemia, which greatly affects adults. Meanwhile, the victims of chronic lymphocytic leukemia are usually individuals who are beyond 55 years old. Acute myelogenous leukemia is a common type of leukemia among the adult age group. On the other hand, acute lymphoblastic leukemia greatly affects young children. At the same time, this type of blood disease also affects adults, particularly those who are 65 years old and beyond.
In addition to these four major kinds, there are other types of leukemia. These are large granular lymphocytic leukemia, t-cell prolymphocytic leukemia and hairy cell leukemia. Because the immune systems of patients are not functioning properly, they are very much susceptible to various kinds of infection including diarrhea, mouth sores as well as infected tonsils. Aside from these illnesses, they can easily fall victim to opportunistic infections and pneumonia.
In some patients, the symptoms are different. These include unintentional weight loss, night sweats as well as chills. Some of the known causes of this disease are tobacco use, alkylating chemotherapy agents and benzene. As much as possible, it is good to be free from viruses like human t-lymphotropic virus.
Treatments differ for the various types of leukemia. For individuals suffering from acute lymphoblastic leukemia, they can undergo different procedures like allogeneic bone marrow transplantation, consolidation therapy and induction chemotherapy. For those with chronic lymphocytic leukemia, they can take combination chemotherapy, the elements of which are prednisone and chlorambucil. It is also possible for them to undergo autologous bone marrow transplantation.
For those with prolymphocytic leukemia, the possible treatment options include different types of purine analogues such as cladribine, fludarabine and pentostasin. In some cases, they are asked to take combination chemotherapies, which include etoposide, doxorubicin and vincristine. For hairy cell leukemia, doctors usually recommend intake of drugs like pentostatin and cladribine.