Things you need to know about Leukemia and its Classifications


things you need to know about leukemia 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. Leukemia is one of the most common types of cancer that has spread among different age groups. Leukemia is also called blood cancer that 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 signs of Leukemia and lose their loved ones abruptly. This blog talks about symptoms of Leukemia and types of Blood Cancer (Leukemia).

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

Symptoms of Leukemia that shouldn’t be ignored

It takes place when the DNA of a single cell in the bone marrow mutates and functions abnormally. Treatments for Leukemia depend upon the type of Leukemia 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 and is alarming, you should quickly consult your doctor and get the screening done.

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

• Sudden change skin tone as it turns pale.

• Frequent fever or chills

• Easy bruising and bleeding

• Frequent nosebleeds and bleeding gums

• Tiny red spots in 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

Types of Leukemia

Medical science classifies Leukemia by 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 leukemia, cells divide rapidly, and the disease progresses apace. You would experience the symptoms within few weeks of leukemia cells start forming.
  • In chronic leukemia, 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/leukemia:

  • Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML): This one is the most common classification of acute Leukemia. AML is more common in older adults ageing 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 Leukemia (ALL): This is a common classification of Leukemia among children, teens and young adults. Lymphoid cells develop and multiply into specific types of white blood cells called lymphocytes.
  • Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML): This Leukemia is more common in older adults ageing over 65 years and in men than in women and hardly occurs in children.
  • Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL): This is the most common classification of chronic Leukemia in adults ageing 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 that include 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.


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

Basic health insurance may not cover the treatment cost of Cancer. 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 the inclusions and exclusions.

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

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