Essay by Anonymous UserHigh School, 12th gradeA+, January 1997

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Leukemia is a cancer that has had a significant effect on our society and with the developments of new drugs it may become treatable. Leukemia originates in the blood-forming organs which may include the lymph tissue and bone cells. In a person with leukemia the rate and the number of cells produced is altered. This altering can become fatal, or with proper treatment it can be subdued.

There are two main types of leukemia which include "total" and "differential." These are mainly characterized by the appearance of white blood cells. When leukemia attacks the blood cells, the bone marrow (where blood cells are made), the spleen, and the lymph nodes are extremely weakened (Reagan 90). The classification of leukemia is based on what organ it is attacking. Leukemia can be in acute or chronic form, which means it can happen rapidly, or be prolonged and severe (Bourne 996).

To diagnose leukemia doctors have to insert a needle into the bone marrow to extract it and then then view it under a microscope to see if it has any abnormalities that relate to that of leukemia. Some of the symptoms that are involved with leukemia include: lack of energy, fever, susceptibility to infection (because of lack of white blood cells), excessive or repetitive bleeding, easy bruising, and also enlargement of the liver, spleen and lymph nodes (997).

This disease has been known to cause about "10% of all cancer deaths, about 50% of all cancer deaths in children and adults less than 30

years old, and at least 4 million people now living are expected to die from these forms of cancer (Reagan 1)." Over half of every type of leukemia occurs in people over the age of 60. Even though so many...