Advertisement

What is leukemia?

March 09, 2001

What is leukemia?



Leukemia starts in the bone marrow, the soft, spongy inner part of bones where blood cells are formed. There are four major types of leukemia: acute, chronic, lymphocytic and myelogenous, or myeloid, according to the American Cancer Society.

Acute means rapidly growing; the cells don't mature properly. Most childhood leukemia is acute.

Chronic describes the condition in which abnormal cells look mature. They live too long and cause a buildup of a certain type of white blood cells.

Lymphocytic leukemia develops from lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell. White blood cells help defend against viruses and bacteria.

Myelogenous or myeloid leukemia develops from one of the other two types of white blood cells - granulocytes or monocytes.

Advertisement
The Herald-Mail Articles
|
|
|