Compare and contrast acute and chronic leukemia, in the answer, discuss the differences between them in symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and prognosis - Essay Example

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Leukemia is a type of cancer that has an effect on the blood or the bone marrow (Coleman and Tsongalis 2006). Leukemia is further categorized into chronic or acute leukemia. These two categories have some differences and similarities in…
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Compare and contrast acute and chronic leukemia, in the answer, discuss the differences between them in symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and prognosis
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"Compare and contrast acute and chronic leukemia, in the answer, discuss the differences between them in symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and prognosis"

Download file to see previous pages Acute leukemia typically affects children (Coleman and Tsongalis 2006). Acute leukemia occurs for a short period of time in terms of days and weeks. On the other hand, chronic leukemia is not as common as acute leukemia in children. It mostly affects adults. It takes a bit longer to generate, and affects more mature cells. Chronic leukemia may develop over a long duration, which can be in terms of months or even years (Dugdale 2012). In acute leukemia, symptoms are quick to manifest while in chronic leukemia it may take more time to manifest these symptoms.
However, symptoms of both types of leukemia remain the same. Patients of both types experience breeding or bruising, abdominal pains, difficulty in breathing, and recurring infections (Skeel and Khleif 2011). Nevertheless, due to its gradual onset of symptoms, therapy for chronic leukemia is characteristically less aggressive that that of acute leukemia. On diagnosis, acute leukemia is diagnosed by blood tests. Usually, the acute leukaemia cell can be spotted or seen circulating in the blood. A bone marrow test is also carried out to diagnose the type of cells involved (Skeel and Khleif 2011). This helps doctors make decision on the best choice of treatment to go for. On the side of chronic leukemia, the initial assessment involves an analysis of the bone marrow and peripheral blood, or both (Moreau 2008).
Treatment of patients with acute leukemia is usually with chemotherapy, which is normally given through veins (Swearingen 2008). Chemotherapy is used to kill fast dividing cells. In some cases, a bone marrow transplant can also be recommended by physicians. Just like acute leukemia, chronic leukemia patients may be subjected chemotherapy in order to reduce the number of lymphocytes. Commonly used drugs include alkylators (Faguet 2004). They are taken for cycles lasting ten days for several weeks depending on the results anticipated. However, total disease reduction is not the aim; instead, the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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