Things You Need to Know About Leukaemia and Its Classifications


Things You Need to Know About Leukaemia and Its Classifications

We all come across surprising moments that take us to a withering phase in life. Cancer is one such disease that comes as a shock and leaves us hollow emotionally and physically. Leukaemia is one of the most common types of cancer that has spread among different age groups. Leukaemia is also called blood cancer which damages blood-forming tissue, such as the bone marrow, and engenders many immature blood cells to take place and enter the bloodstream. It is divided into varied subtypes according to cellular maturity- acute or chronic and cell type- lymphocytic or myeloid. 

This blog is more like an awakening call for all those who are not aware of the signs of Leukaemia and lose their loved ones abruptly. This blog talks about the symptoms of Leukaemia and types of Blood Cancer (Leukemia).

According to an article by Indian Express, Leukaemia is the most common blood cancer among adults and children these days.

Symptoms of Leukaemia that Shouldn’t be Ignored

It takes place when the DNA of a single cell in the bone marrow mutates and functions abnormally. Leukaemia treatment depends upon the type of Leukaemia you are suffering from, age, and overall health and resistance. It also depends on whether it has spread to your tissues or organs. If you experience something unusual happening to your body that is alarming, you should quickly consult your doctor and get the screening done.

Leukaemia symptoms and signs vary according to the type of blood cancer you may have. However, common signs and symptoms of Leukaemia are-

  • Sudden change in skin tone as it turns pale.
  • Frequent fever or chills
  • Easy bruising and bleeding
  • Frequent nosebleeds and bleeding gums
  • Tiny red spots on the skin
  • Bone and joint pain or tenderness
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck and around the underarm, groin or stomach area
  • Frequent infections and allergies
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Shortness of breath and fatigue
  • Pain or full feeling under the ribs on the left side

Causes of Leukaemia

Do you know what causes Leukaemia?

The exact cause of Leukaemia is unknown, but several factors may increase the risk of developing the disease.

  • Genetic Mutations: Changes in the DNA of blood cells can lead to abnormal growth and division, eventually leading to Leukaemia.
  • Environmental Factors: Exposure to certain chemicals, such as benzene, radiation, or chemotherapy drugs, may increase the risk of developing Leukaemia.
  • Viral Infections: Certain viruses, such as the human T-cell leukaemia virus (HTLV-1) and the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), have been linked to an increased risk of developing certain types of Leukaemia.
  • Family History: Individuals with a family history of Leukaemia may be more likely to develop the disease.
  • Age: Leukaemia is more common in older adults, although it can occur at any age.
  • Gender: Some types of Leukaemia, such as acute lymphoblastic Leukaemia, are more common in males than females.
  • Lifestyle Factors: Factors such as smoking, a diet high in processed foods, and lack of exercise may increase the risk of developing Leukaemia.

Types of Leukaemia

Medical science classifies Leukaemiaby how quickly the disease progresses and by the type of blood cell involved in cancer. There are two types of cellular maturity in Leukemia: acute Leukemia and the other is chronic Leukemia.

  • In acute leukaemia, cells divide rapidly, and the disease progresses apace. You would experience the symptoms within a few weeks of leukaemia cells start forming.
  • In chronic leukaemia, cells are either mature, immature or both mature and immature. These cells may develop when they start functioning as cells they are meant to become, but not to the limit their normal counterparts do. This type of cancer may progress slowly as compared to acute Leukemia. If you have chronic Leukemia, you may not experience science and symptoms for years.

There are four significant types of blood cancer/leukaemia:

Acute Myeloid Leukaemia(AML): This is the most common classification of acute Leukemia. AML is more common in older adults aged above 65 and men as compared to women. Myeloid cells develop and multiply in red blood cells, platelets, and blood cells called basophils, eosinophils, and neutrophils.

Acute Lymphocytic Leukaemia(ALL): This is a common classification of Leukaemia among children, teens and young adults. Lymphoid cells develop and multiply into specific types of white blood cells called lymphocytes.

Chronic Myelogenous Leukaemia(CML): This Leukaemia is more common in older adults aged over 65 years and in men than in women and hardly occurs in children.

Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia(CLL): This is the most common classification of chronic Leukaemiain adults aged over 65 years, and men are more vulnerable than women.

Diagnosis of Leukemia

If you ever face alarming symptoms that worry you, you should always consult an experienced doctor and share your concerns. Leukaemia can only be diagnosed through thorough laboratory tests, including blood tests, bone marrow samples and other generic tests. Blood samples are taken to evaluate the number of blood cells in the body: red cells, white cells and platelets.

Is Leukaemia Curable?

People often wonder that is blood cancer curable.

Whether or not leukaemia is curable depends on several factors, including the type and stage of the disease, the age and overall health of the patient, and the availability of appropriate treatments.

Some types of leukaemia, such as acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) and acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), can often be cured with aggressive chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and stem cell transplantation.

Other types of leukaemia, such as chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) and chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML), may not be curable, but they can often be managed effectively with treatments such as chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and immunotherapy. Patients may sometimes live for many years with these types of leukaemia.

It's important to note that even if leukaemia is not curable, many treatments can help manage symptoms, improve quality of life, and prolong survival. It's also important for patients with leukaemia to receive appropriate medical care and follow-up to ensure the best possible outcomes.


Most people in India are still unaware of this blood disorder due to the lack of a countrywide leukaemia screening program. Hence it is crucial to understand the symptoms of blood cancer beforehand.

Basic health insurance may not cover the blood cancer treatment cost. There will always be limitations in these plans, which may not allow you to avail of the treatment that caters you complete coverage of your cancer treatment. A comprehensive cancer insurance plan covers the cost of the treatments/therapies related to Cancer. It is always wise to buy cancer insurance to give a safety cushion to your future and check your policy document for inclusions and exclusions.

Disclaimer: Underwriting of claims for cancer is subject to policy terms and conditions.


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