PNEUMONIA

Pneumonia is an infection of the lung tissue caused by various bacterial , viruses or fungi. It happens when an infection causes the air sacs in your lungs (your doctor will call them alveoli) to fill with fluid or pus. That can make it hard for you to breathe in enough oxygen to reach your bloodstream i a lung infection that can range from mild to so severe that you have to go to the hospital.

Anyone can get this lung infection. But infants younger than age 2 and people over age 65 are at higher risk. That’s because their immune systems might not be strong enough to fight it.

Pneumonia types

There are different type of pneumonia, depending on their cause.

  • Bacterial pneumonia: The most common cause is the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae (S. pneumoniae), but many different bacteria can cause pneumonia
  • Viral pneumonias; This is cause by syncytia virus (RSV) and influenza types A and B, known as the flu
  • Aspiration pneumonia: This can happen when a person breathes food, liquids, or stomach contents into the lungs. This type is not contagious.
  • Fungal pneumonia: This can results from a condition such as valley fever, caused by the Coccidioides fungus.
  • Hospital-acquired pneumonia: This can occur in patients being treated for other conditions, for example, those attached to a respirator, or breathing machine.

Regardless of the cause, the signs and symptoms will be similar.

Pneumonia symptoms

The first symptoms of pneumonia usually resemble those of a cold or flu. The person then develops a high fever, chills, and cough with sputum.

Common symptoms include:

  • fever
  • cough
  • headache
  • rusty or green phlegm, or sputum, coughed up from lungs
  • fast breathing and shortness of breath
  • shaking chills
  • chest pain that usually worsens when taking a deep breath, known as pleuritic pain
  • fast heartbeat
  • fatigue and weakness
  • nausea and vomiting
  • sweating
  • muscle pain
  • confusion or delirium, especially in older adults

Symptoms can vary depending on other underlying conditions and the type of pneumonia

pnuemonia treatment

Treatment depends on the type and severity of the pneumonia

  • Bacterial types of pneumonia are treated with antibiotics
  • Viral types of pneumonia are usually treated with rest and plenty of fluids. Antiviral medications can be used in influenza.
  • Fungal types of pneumonia are usually treated with antifungal medications.

Doctors commonly prescribe over-the-counter (OTC) medications to help manage the symptoms of pneumonia. These include treatments for reducing fever, reducing aches and pains, and suppressing coughs.

In addition, it is crucial to rest and drink plenty of fluids. Staying hydrated helps to thin out thick phlegm and mucus, making it easier to cough up.

Hospitalization for pneumonia may be required if symptoms are especially bad or if an individual has a weakened immune system or other serious illnesses.

In the hospital, patients are generally treated with intravenous antibiotics and fluids. They may need a supplemental oxygen supply.

Pneumonia complications

Even with treatment, some people with pneumonia, especially those in high-risk groups, may experience complications, including:

  • Bacteria in the bloodstream (bacteremia). Bacteria that enter the bloodstream from your lungs can spread the infection to other organs, potentially causing organ failure.
  • Difficulty breathing. If your pneumonia is severe or you have chronic underlying lung diseases, you may have trouble breathing in enough oxygen. You may need to be hospitalized and use a breathing machine (ventilator) while your lung heals.
  • Fluid accumulation around the lungs (pleural effusion). Pneumonia may cause fluid to build up in the thin space between layers of tissue that line the lungs and chest cavity (pleura). If the fluid becomes infected, you may need to have it drained through a chest tube or removed with surgery.
  • Lung abscess. An abscess occurs if pus forms in a cavity in the lung. An abscess is usually treated with antibiotics. Sometimes, surgery or drainage with a long needle or tube placed into the abscess is needed to remove the pus.

is pneumonia contagious

The germs that cause pneumonia are contagious. This means they can spread from person to person.

Bacterial and viral  pneumonia can spread to others through inhalation of airborne droplets from a sneeze or cough. You can also get these types of pneumonia by coming into contact with surfaces or objects that are contaminated with pneumonia-causing bacteria or viruses.

You can contract fungal pneumonia from the environment. However, it doesn’t spread from person to person.

Benefits From consuming Garlic

Before we go deep into the benefits of garlic, let’s educate ourselves on the knowledge available about the nature of garlic.

Garlic is genus, Allium; a specie of onion. Its close relatives include the onion, shallot, leek, chive, and Chinese onion.

It is common with Central Asia and northeastern Iran, and has been a seasoning agent on our diets.

Now, let’s look at few benefits of garlic in our everyday food consumption.

Allicin compound exists in freshly cut or crushed garlic.

Other food compounds that play role in the health benefits of garlic includes diallyl disulfide and s-allyl cysteine.

Trully, if you want the full benefits of garlic. You should eat it raw.

Garlic boosts the immune system. Garlic boots the immune system of the body. Cold and common flu is one the fewer diseases that helps us to check our immune system. If we include garlic in our diets, common flu and cold will not be our problem.

Garlic reduces blood pressure. Garlic in certain amount of dose can drastically reduce high blood pressure .

Garlic reduces bad cholesterol levels. Garlic helps in reducing Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and balancing High-density lipoprotein (HDL).

Garlic improves the function of the brain. Garlic contains antioxidants which counters free radicals causing oxidation and serving as aging factor. And we all know some of the health problems associated with aging includes Dementia and Alzheimer’s.

An avocado a day could lower ‘bad’ cholesterol levels,

We’ve all heard the old saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” According to a new study, however, the same may be true for avocados — at least when it comes to lowering “bad” cholesterol levels.

The study, conducted by researchers at Penn State University and published in the Journal of Nutrition, suggests that eating one avocado a day can lower levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the type of cholesterol considered to be “bad.” High levels of LDL can build up within blood vessel walls, sometimes causing a stroke or heart attack, per the Mayo Clinic.

On the other hand, high-density lipoprotein, or HDL, is often regarded as “good” cholesterol.

For the study, researchers recruited 45 adults who were either overweight or obese. For the first two weeks, participants ate a diet that “mimicked an average American diet,” which allowed all those involved to “begin the study on similar nutritional ‘footing,’” according to a news release regarding the study. 

Later, the participants were separated at random into three groups. Each group either followed a low-fat diet, a moderate-fat diet, or a moderate-fat diet that also involved eating an avocado each day.

Five weeks later, those who ate an avocado each day “had significantly lower levels of oxidized LDL cholesterol than before the study began or after completing the low- and moderate-fat diets,” per the news release. “Participants also had higher levels of lutein, an antioxidant, after the avocado diet.”

In other words, the researchers determined that avocados may be able to lower oxidized LDL particles. Oxidation can negatively affect the human body.

“When you think about bad cholesterol, it comes packaged in LDL particles, which vary in size. All LDL is bad, but small, dense LDL is particularly bad. A key finding was that people on the avocado diet had fewer oxidized LDL particles. They also had more lutein, which may be the bioactive that’s protecting the LDL from being oxidized,” said Penny Kris-Etherton, distinguished professor of nutrition, in a statement.

“A lot of research points to oxidation being the basis for conditions like cancer and heart disease,” Kris-Etherton added. “We know that when LDL particles become oxidized, that starts a chain reaction that can promote atherosclerosis, which is the build-up of plaque in the artery wall. Oxidation is not good, so if you can help protect the body through the foods that you eat, that could be very beneficial.”

That said, Kris-Etherton did note that more research is needed to understand the more nuanced health benefits of avocados, which are already known to be full of important nutrients – such as vitamin K and potassium – as well as fiber, heart-healthy fatty acids and antioxidants.

Three Colorado police officers ‘no longer employed’ after arrest of 73-year-old woman with dementia


U.S. NEWS

Three Colorado police officers ‘no longer employed’ after arrest of 73-year-old woman with dementia

A fourth officer, Sgt. Philip Metzler, was also placed on administrative leave but was not among those who lost their jobs.00:06 /02:37TAP TO UNMUTE

Body camera video shows police force 78-year-old woman with dementia to ground

April 30, 2021, 6:52 PM GMT / Updated April 30, 2021, 11:28 PM GMTBy Minyvonne Burke

Three Loveland, Colorado, police officers are no longer employed with the department after their involvement in the arrest and booking of a 73-year-old woman with dementia.

Karen Garner suffered a dislocated shoulder, fractured arm and sprained wrist after she was slammed to the ground and hogtied during a June 26 arrest, according to a federal lawsuit.

The altercation was captured on police body camera video and shared by Garner’s attorney, Sarah Schielke.

Officers Austin Hopp, Tyler Blackett and Daria Jalali were placed on administrative leave over the incident, along with Sgt. Phillip Metzler. Another sergeant, Antolina Hill, was reassigned.

Loveland Police Chief Robert Ticer said at a news conference Friday that Hopp, Blackett and Jalali “are no longer employed” with the department but declined to specify whether they resigned or were terminated.

It’s unclear why Metzler and Hill were not among those no longer with the department.

Gingivitis

An inflammation of the gums surrounding the teeth which affects a significant portion of the population and a common periodontal disease.

This inflammation of the gingiva is classified according to severity. It can range from mild to severe gingivitis and more uncommon but serious necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis.

  • Inflammation is a complex system by which bacteria-fighting cells of the body are recruited to an area of bacterial infection. Inflammation plays a major role in gingivitis. It is this inflammation of the gums that accounts for most of the symptoms of gingivitis.
  • Bacteria can cause inflammation of the gums. Although bacteria are normally found in our bodies and provide protective effects most of the time, bacteria can be harmful. The mouth is an ideal place for bacteria to live. The warm, moist environment and constant food supply are everything bacteria need to thrive. If not for a healthy immune system, bacteria in the mouth would rapidly reproduce out of control, overwhelming the body’s defense system.
  • An infection begins when the body’s immune system is overwhelmed. The gum disease of gingivitis is an infection that occurs when bacteria invade soft tissues and bone adjacent to teeth. The severity of this infection varies from mild to severe and can be an indication of a life-threatening systemic disease.

What Are Gingivitis Symptoms and Signs?

  • The presence of dental plaque, a sticky substance on the teeth, will inevitably cause gingivitis.
  • Swelling, redness, pain, and bleeding of the gums are signs of gingivitis. Swelling of the gums is referred to as gingival hyperplasia.
  • Receding gums are a sign of gingivitis that may be advancing into periodontal disease
  • Loose teeth or tooth loss in the presence of gum inflammation is a sign of gingivitis and periodontal disease.
  • Halitosis (bad breath ) , in which the breath begins to take on a foul odor, may be present in more severe forms of gingivitis.

How Do You Treat Gingivitis?

For simple gingivitis, work with a dentist. A concerted effort involving good home denta hygiene, including regular and correct brushing and flossing, and regular dental visits should be all that is required to treat and prevent gingivitis. Gingivitis can usually be managed at home with good dental hygiene.

If gingivitis continues despite the effort to prevent it, contact a doctor to investigate the possibility of an underlying illness. If there are other conditions that seem to be coinciding with the signs and symptoms of gingivitis, seek medical attention. For example, chronic gingivitis and periodontitis are felt by medical scientists to be risk factors for the development of rheumatoid arthritis.

One complication of gingivitis may be the presence of ulcers on the gums — if rampant, this could be a sign of acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis and will require medical diagnosis and treatment.

Spring, the most inspiring of the seasons (this year especially)

(CNN)As the end of the pandemic tunnel gets brighter and brighter, has a season ever better aligned with where most people are in the world right now?Spring is the season of hope — that things will get better after they were worse. The river will “flow again after it was frozen,” Ernest Hemingway wrote of spring in “A Moveable Feast.” Change is a-comin’, and everything is going to be better for it.”If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant,” wrote English poet Anne Bradstreet. “If we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.”Spring is arguably the most profound of the seasons in terms of its meaning, promise, inspiration and experiences. It is the season of new starts and ideas bursting from the ground like the return of grass, daffodils and cherry blossoms.

Snake venom is a boon in search for life-saving drugs

(CNN)Over the summer, Chicago-based cardiologist Dr. Sandeep Nathan received a phone call that a patient was in trouble.Every minute that went by put the patient more atrisk. In his mid-30s, he was suffering from a massive heart attack with excessive blood clotting in the vessels around his heart. He had also tested positive for Covid-19.Several studies have shown that coronavirus impacts more than just the lungs and respiratory system — including the heart. “There is an acute inflammatory response, increased blood clotting and cardiac involvement,” cardiologist Dr. Nieca Goldberg, medical director of New York University’s Women’s Heart Program, previously told CNN Health. Goldberg is also a senior adviser for women’s health strategy at NYU Langone Health.

Before beginning a procedure to clear the vessels and put in stents, Nathan and his team administered blood thinners, including Integrilin, to help break up the clots.

The US Food and Drug Administration first approved Integrilin in 1998, and medical professionals commonly prescribe it to heart attack patients. But what manypeople don’t realize is the drug was originally derived from a protein found in the venom of the pygmy rattlesnake.

“Several hundred thousand heart attacks occur in the United States every year, and a significant proportion of these heart attacks are treated with agents, which unbeknownst to both the physician and patient, are actually derived from animal venom,” said Nathan, director ofthe University of Chicago Medicine’s Coronary Care Unit and co-director of its Cardiac Catheterization Lab.”There’s a bit of a misconception that drug development, particularly with antiplatelets or anticoagulants, is now passé — that we’ve discovered everything that we need to know,” he added. “In my opinion, nothing could be further from the truth.”http://Snake venom is a boon in search for life-saving drugs

Cholera

Cholera is a serious bacterial disease that usually causes severe diarrhea and dehydration. The disease is typically spread through contaminated water.

In severe cases, immediate treatment is necessary because death can occur within hours. This can happen even if you were healthy before you caught it.

Modern sewage and water treatment have effectively eliminated cholera in most countries. It’s still a problem in countries in Asia, Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East.

Countries affected by war, poverty, and natural disasters have the greatest risk for a cholera outbreak. That’s because these conditions tend to force people to live in crowded areas without proper sanitation.

Causes of cholera

Cholera is caused by bacteria called Vibrio cholerae. The disease’s deadly effects are the result of a strong toxin known as CTX that is produced by these bacteria in your small intestine.

CTX interferes with the normal flow of sodium and chloride when it binds to your intestinal walls. When the bacteria attaches to the small intestine’s walls, your body begins to secrete large amounts of water that lead to diarrhea and the rapid loss of fluids and salts.

Contaminated water supplies are the primary source of cholera infection. Uncooked fruits, vegetables, and other foods can also contain the bacteria that cause cholera.

Cholera is not usually passed from person to person through casual contact.

Are you at risk?

Anyone can become sick with cholera, but a few factors may increase your risk. These risk factors also increase the likelihood that you’ll have a severe case. These include:

  • unclean conditions (such as poor sanitation and contaminated water)
  • low levels of stomach acid (cholera bacteria cannot live in highly acidic environments)
  • sick household members
  • type O blood (it’s not clear why this is true, but more people with this blood type seem to be at risk for cholera)
  • eating raw shellfish (if the shellfish live in dirty waters where the cholera bacteria live, there is greater chance of becoming ill)

Symptoms of cholera

The majority of people exposed to cholera never become ill. In most cases, you may never know you’ve been exposed.

Once you’re infected, you’ll continue to shed cholera bacteria in your stools for 7 to 14 days. Cholera usually causes mild to moderate diarrhea, like other illnesses.

One in 10 people who are infected will develop typical symptoms within 2 to 3 days after infection.

Common symptoms of cholera include:

The dehydration caused by cholera is usually severe and can cause tiredness, moodiness, sunken eyes, dry mouth, shriveled skin, extreme thirst, reduced urine outputirregular heartbeat, and low blood pressure.

Dehydration may lead to loss of minerals in your blood. This can lead to an electrolyte imbalance. The first sign of an electrolyte imbalance is severe muscle cramps. An electrolyte imbalance can eventually lead to shock.

Children usually have the same cholera symptoms as adults. Children may also experience the following:

  • severe drowsiness
  • fever
  • convulsions
  • coma

Cholera rarely occurs in first world nations. If you follow proper food safety practices, even in affected areas, the risk of infection is minor. Still, cholera continues to occur worldwide. If you develop severe diarrhea after visiting an area with a high rate of cholera, you should see a doctor.

Diagnosing and treating cholera

If you have symptoms of cholera, you should contact your doctor. A doctor can confirm that you have cholera by identifying bacteria in a stool sample.

Common methods for treating cholera include:

These treatments add to the liquid in the body and rehydrate it. They also help reduce the length of time you have diarrhea.

Cholera complications

Cholera can be fatal. In severe cases, rapid loss of fluids and electrolytes can cause death in as little as 2 or 3 hours. Even in typical cases, if cholera is left untreated, people can die of dehydration and shock in as little as 18 hours.

Shock and severe diarrhea are the most serious complications of cholera. However, other problems may occur, such as:

Preventing cholera infection

If you’re traveling to an area where cholera is common, your chances of catching the disease are still low if you:

  • wash your hands
  • drink only bottled or boiled water
  • avoid raw food and shellfish
  • avoid dairy foods
  • eat raw fruits and vegetables that you can peel yourself

Kawasaki disease

Overview

Kawasaki disease causes swelling (inflammation) in the walls of medium-sized arteries throughout the body. It primarily affects children. The inflammation tends to affect the coronary arteries, which supply blood to the heart muscle.

Kawasaki disease is sometimes called mucocutaneous lymph node syndrome because it also affects glands that swell during an infection (lymph nodes), skin, and the mucous membranes inside the mouth, nose and throat.

Symptoms

Kawasaki disease signs and symptoms usually appear in three phases.

1st phase

Signs and symptoms of the first phase may include:

  • A fever that is often is higher than 102.2 F (39 C) and lasts more than three days
  • Extremely red eyes without a thick discharge
  • A rash on the main part of the body and in the genital area
  • Red, dry, cracked lips and an extremely red, swollen tongue
  • Swollen, red skin on the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck and perhaps elsewhere
  • Irritability

2nd phase

In the second phase of the disease, your child may develop:

  • Peeling of the skin on the hands and feet, especially the tips of the fingers and toes, often in large sheets
  • Joint pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain

3rd phase

In the third phase of the disease, signs and symptoms slowly go away unless complications develop. It may be as long as eight weeks before energy levels seem normal again.

When to see a doctor

If your child has a fever that lasts more than three days, contact your child’s doctor. Also, see your child’s doctor if your child has a fever along with four or more of the following signs and symptoms:

  • Redness in both eyes
  • A very red, swollen tongue
  • Redness of the palms or soles
  • Skin peeling
  • A rash
  • Swollen lymph nodes

Treating Kawasaki disease within 10 days of when it began may greatly reduce the chances of lasting damage.

Causes

No one knows what causes Kawasaki disease, but scientists don’t believe the disease is contagious from person to person. A number of theories link the disease to bacteria, viruses or other environmental factors, but none has been proved. Certain genes may make your child more likely to get Kawasaki disease.

Risk factors

Three things are known to increase your child’s risk of developing Kawasaki disease.

  • Age. Children under 5 years old are most at risk of Kawasaki disease.
  • Sex. Boys are slightly more likely than girls are to develop Kawasaki disease.
  • Ethnicity. Children of Asian or Pacific Island descent, such as Japanese or Korean, have higher rates of Kawasaki disease.

Complications

Kawasaki disease is a leading cause of acquired heart disease in children. However, with effective treatment, only a few children have lasting damage.

Heart complications include:

  • Inflammation of blood vessels, usually the coronary arteries, that supply blood to the heart
  • Inflammation of the heart muscle
  • Heart valve problems

Any of these complications can damage your child’s heart. Inflammation of the coronary arteries can lead to weakening and bulging of the artery wall (aneurysm). Aneurysms increase the risk of blood clots, which could lead to a heart attack or cause life-threatening internal bleeding.

For a very small percentage of children who develop coronary artery problems, Kawasaki disease can cause death, even with treatment

Diagnosis

  • Blood tests. Blood tests help rule out other diseases and check your child’s blood cell count. A high white blood cell count and the presence of anemia and inflammation are signs of Kawasaki disease.Testing for a substance called B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) that’s released when the heart is under stress may be helpful in diagnosing Kawasaki disease. However, more research is needed to confirm this finding.
  • Electrocardiogram. Electrodes are attached to the skin to measure the electrical impulses of your child’s heartbeat. Kawasaki disease can cause heart rhythm problems.
  • Echocardiogram. This test uses ultrasound images to show how well the heart is working and can help identify problems with the coronary arteries.

Treatment

Treatment for Kawasaki disease may include:

  • Gamma globulin. Infusion of an immune protein (gamma globulin) through a vein (intravenously) can lower the risk of coronary artery problems.
  • Aspirin. High doses of aspirin may help treat inflammation. Aspirin can also decrease pain and joint inflammation, as well as reduce the fever.Kawasaki treatment is a rare exception to the rule that says aspirin shouldn’t be given to children. Aspirin has been linked to Reye’s syndrome, a rare but potentially life-threatening condition, in children recovering from chickenpox or flu. Children should be given aspirin only under the supervision of a doctor.

Because of the risk of serious complications, initial treatment for Kawasaki disease usually is given in a hospital.

After the initial treatment

Once the fever goes down, your child may need to take low-dose aspirin for at least six weeks and longer if he or she develops a coronary artery aneurysm. Aspirin helps prevent clotting.

However, if your child develops flu or chickenpox during treatment, he or she may need to stop taking aspirin. Taking aspirin has been linked to Reye’s syndrome, a rare but potentially life-threatening condition that can affect the blood, liver and brain of children and teenagers after a viral infection.

With treatment, your child may start to improve soon after the first gamma globulin treatment. Without treatment, Kawasaki disease lasts an average of 12 days. However, heart complications may be longer lasting.

Monitoring heart problems

If your child has any signs of heart problems, the doctor may recommend follow-up tests to check your child’s heart health at regular intervals, often at six to eight weeks after the illness began, and then again after six months.

If heart problems continue, you may be referred to a doctor who specializes in treating heart disease in children (pediatric cardiologist). Treatment for heart complications related to Kawasaki disease depends on what type of heart condition is present. If a coronary artery aneurysm ruptures, treatment may include anticoagulant drugs, stent placement, or bypass surgery.

Leukemia

Overview

Leukemia is cancer of the body’s blood-forming tissues, including the bone marrow and the lymphatic system.

Some forms of leukemia are more common in children. Other forms of leukemia occur mostly in adults.

Leukemia usually involves the white blood cells. Your white blood cells are potent infection fighters — they normally grow and divide in an orderly way, as your body needs them. But in people with leukemia, the bone marrow produces an excessive amount of abnormal white blood cells, which don’t function properly.

Symptoms

Leukemia symptoms vary, depending on the type of leukemia. Common leukemia signs and symptoms include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Persistent fatigue, weakness
  • Frequent or severe infections
  • Losing weight without trying
  • Swollen lymph nodes, enlarged liver or spleen
  • Easy bleeding or bruising
  • Recurrent nosebleeds
  • Tiny red spots in your skin (petechiae)
  • Excessive sweating, especially at night
  • Bone pain or tenderness

How leukemia is classified

Doctors classify leukemia based on its speed of progression and the type of cells involved.

The first type of classification is by how fast the leukemia progresses:

  • Acute leukemia. In acute leukemia, the abnormal blood cells are immature blood cells (blasts). They can’t carry out their normal functions, and they multiply rapidly, so the disease worsens quickly. Acute leukemia requires aggressive, timely treatment.
  • Chronic leukemia. There are many types of chronic leukemias. Some produce too many cells and some cause too few cells to be produced. Chronic leukemia involves more-mature blood cells. These blood cells replicate or accumulate more slowly and can function normally for a period of time. Some forms of chronic leukemia initially produce no early symptoms and can go unnoticed or undiagnosed for years.

The second type of classification is by type of white blood cell affected:

  • Lymphocytic leukemia. This type of leukemia affects the lymphoid cells (lymphocytes), which form lymphoid or lymphatic tissue. Lymphatic tissue makes up your immune system.
  • Myelogenous (my-uh-LOHJ-uh-nus) leukemia. This type of leukemia affects the myeloid cells. Myeloid cells give rise to red blood cells, white blood cells and platelet-producing cells.

Types of leukemia

The major types of leukemia are:

  • Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL). This is the most common type of leukemia in young children. ALL can also occur in adults.
  • Acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). AML is a common type of leukemia. It occurs in children and adults. AML is the most common type of acute leukemia in adults.
  • Chronic lymphocytic leukemia. the most common chronic adult leukemia, you may feel well for years without needing treatment.
  • Chronic myelogenous leukemia . This type of leukemia mainly affects adults. A person with CML may have few or no symptoms for months or years before entering a phase in which the leukemia cells grow more quickly.
  • Other types. Other, rarer types of leukemia exist, including hairy cell leukemia, myelodysplastic syndromes and myeloproliferative disorders.

Risk factors

Factors that may increase your risk of developing some types of leukemia include:

  • Previous cancer treatment. People who’ve had certain types of chemotherapy and radiation therapy for other cancers have an increased risk of developing certain types of leukemia.
  • Genetic disorders. Genetic abnormalities seem to play a role in the development of leukemia. Certain genetic disorders, such as Down syndrome, are associated with an increased risk of leukemia.
  • Exposure to certain chemicals. Exposure to certain chemicals, such as benzene — which is found in gasoline and is used by the chemical industry — is linked to an increased risk of some kinds of leukemia.
  • Smoking. Smoking cigarettes increases the risk of acute myelogenous leukemia.
  • Family history of leukemia. If members of your family have been diagnosed with leukemia, your risk of the disease may be increased.

Diagnosis

  • Physical exam. Your doctor will look for physical signs of leukemia, such as pale skin from anemia, swelling of your lymph nodes, and enlargement of your liver and spleen.
  • Blood tests. By looking at a sample of your blood, your doctor can determine if you have abnormal levels of red or white blood cells or platelets — which may suggest leukemia. A blood test may also show the presence of leukemia cells, though not all types of leukemia cause the leukemia cells to circulate in the blood. Sometimes the leukemia cells stay in the bone marrow.
  • Bone marrow test. Your doctor may recommend a procedure to remove a sample of bone marrow from your hipbone. The bone marrow is removed using a long, thin needle. The sample is sent to a laboratory to look for leukemia cells. Specialized tests of your leukemia cells may reveal certain characteristics that are used to determine your treatment options.

Treatment

Treatment for your leukemia depends on many factors. Your doctor determines your leukemia treatment options based on your age and overall health, the type of leukemia you have, and whether it has spread to other parts of your body, including the central nervous system.

Common treatments used to fight leukemia include:

  • Chemotherapy. Chemotherapy is the major form of treatment for leukemia. This drug treatment uses chemicals to kill leukemia cells.Depending on the type of leukemia you have, you may receive a single drug or a combination of drugs. These drugs may come in a pill form, or they may be injected directly into a vein.
  • Targeted therapy. Targeted drug treatments focus on specific abnormalities present within cancer cells. By blocking these abnormalities, targeted drug treatments can cause cancer cells to die. Your leukemia cells will be tested to see if targeted therapy may be helpful for you.
  • Radiation therapy. Radiation therapy uses X-rays or other high-energy beams to damage leukemia cells and stop their growth. During radiation therapy, you lie on a table while a large machine moves around you, directing the radiation to precise points on your body.You may receive radiation in one specific area of your body where there is a collection of leukemia cells, or you may receive radiation over your whole body. Radiation therapy may be used to prepare for a bone marrow transplant.
  • Bone marrow transplant. A bone marrow transplant, also called a stem cell transplant, helps reestablish healthy stem cells by replacing unhealthy bone marrow with leukemia-free stem cells that will regenerate healthy bone marrow.Prior to a bone marrow transplant, you receive very high doses of chemotherapy or radiation therapy to destroy your leukemia-producing bone marrow. Then you receive an infusion of blood-forming stem cells that help rebuild your bone marrow.You may receive stem cells from a donor or you may be able to use your own stem cells.
  • Immunotherapy. Immunotherapy uses your immune system to fight cancer. Your body’s disease-fighting immune system may not attack your cancer because the cancer cells produce proteins that help them hide from the immune system cells. Immunotherapy works by interfering with that process.
  • Engineering immune cells to fight leukemia. A specialized treatment called chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T cell therapy takes your body’s germ-fighting T cells, engineers them to fight cancer and infuses them back into your body. CAR-T cell therapy might be an option for certain types of leukemia.
  • Clinical trials. Clinical trials are experiments to test new cancer treatments and new ways of using existing treatments. While clinical trials give you or your child a chance to try the latest cancer treatment, treatment benefits and risks may be uncertain. Discuss the benefits and risks of clinical trials with your doctor.