Essay by snapper1College, UndergraduateA+, February 1997

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Leukemia strikes all ages and both sexes. In 1995 approximately 20,400 people died from Leukemia. The all time five year survival rate is 38%. This rate has gone to 52% in the mid 1980's. Approximately 25,700 cases were reported in 1995 alone(American Cancer Society-leukemia, 1995).

Leukemia is a form of cancer in the blood cells. Most forms of Leukemia occur in the white blood cells. These abnormal cells reproduce in large quantities and look and perform differently than normal cells(MedicineNet-leukemia, 1997).

Right now the causes of Leukemia are unknown. Some studies have shown that exposure to high-energy radiation increases chances of contracting leukemia. Such radiation was produced in the atomic bombing of Japan during World War II. There is also enough energy in nuclear plants so strict safety precautions are taken. Some research shows that exposure to electric magnetic fields, such as power lines and electric appliances, is a possible risk factor.

More studies are needed to prove this link. Some genetic conditions, such as Down's syndrome, are also believed to increase the risk factor. Exposure to some chemicals is also suspected to be a risk factor. By learning the causes of leukemia treatment options will become available(MedicineNet-leukemia, 1997).

There are many symptoms of leukemia. The symptoms of leukemia are the same for all the different types of leukemia. The acute types of leukemia, ALL and AML, symptoms are seen more quickly than in the chronic types of leukemia, CLL and CML, where symptoms do not necessarily appear right away. The symptoms are flu symptom, weakness, fatigue, constant infections, easily bleed and bruise, loss of weight and appetite, swollen lymph nodes, liver or spleen, paleness, bone or joint pain, excess sweating, swollen or bleeding gums, nosebleeds and other hemorrhages, and red spots called petechiae located underneath...