Essay by rainbowessayHigh School, 11th gradeA, November 2014

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Disease Background

Leukemia was first recognized 5000 years B.C by the ancient Greeks. In 1845, Leukemia was officially diagnosed by John Hughes Bennett in Scotland. Other doctors discovered that some of their patients had abnormally high levels of white blood cells. The disease was first called "weisses blut," meaning white blood. The name "Leukemia" that is used nowadays comes from the Greek words "leukos" and "heima," which also mean white blood. Around 30 years after the discovery of the disease, doctors organized four types of Leukemia: Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia, Erythroleukemia and Chronic Lymphocytic and Myelogenous Leukemias.

Disease Description

The term Leukemia is a broad term that consists of different cancers that occur in the bone marrow, the soft, spongy center of bones, which is responsible for supplying blood cells. The cells that are produced in the bone marrow include: white blood cells, which help the body fight infections and other diseases; red blood cells, which carry oxygen from the lungs to the body's tissues and take carbon dioxide from the tissues back to the lungs; and platelets, which help form blood clots that control bleeding.

When Leukemia develops in the body, large numbers of abnormal blood cells are produced. In most cases of Leukemia, the abnormal blood cells are usually white blood cells. The Leukemia cells not only function differently from normal cells, but also usually look different as well. The different types of Leukemia can either be acute or chronic. In acute Leukemia, the abnormal blood cells are blasts that remain very immature and cannot carry out their normal functions. Acute Leukemia can occur at any age and the disease develops rapidly. In chronic Leukemia, some blast cells are present, but in general, these cells are more mature and can carry some of their normal functions. Chronic Leukemia...