The Jacquie Hirsch for A.L.L. Foundation
 
 
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Cause' when push        
        comes to shove
You taste what        
        you're made of.
You might bend,        
        till you break
Cause its all        
        you can take.
On your knees        
        you look up,
Decide you've        
        had enough.
You get mad,        
        you get strong,
Wipe your hands        
        shake it off,
THEN YOU STAND.
 
WHAT IS ACUTE LYMPHOCYTIC LEUKEMIA (A.L.L.)?
 
 
 
  
Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL) Leukemia is a cancer of blood cells that originates in the bone marrow, the soft, spongy inner portion of certain bones. The cancerous cells in leukemia are the white blood cells (leukocytes).
 
Leukemia develops when a blood cell undergoes a transformation into a malignant cell -- one capable of uncontrolled growth. Leukemia cells begin to multiply in the marrow, and as they do so they crowd out the normal blood cells -- those that carry oxygen to the body's tissues, fight infections, and help wounds heal by clotting the blood. Leukemia can also spread from the marrow to other parts of the body, including the lymph nodes,
brain, liver, and spleen. Blood-cell development begins in the marrow with the formation of stem cells. These primitive cells are capable of developing into any kind of blood cell. Each of these types of cell has a very specific job in the functioning of the body.
 
A malignant transformation can happen at any stage of blood cell development. The leukemia cells that result carry many characteristics of the cell from which they began. Most leukemias fall into one of two general groups: myelogenous leukemia and lymphocytic leukemia. Physicians also classify leukemias according to whether they are acute or chronic. In acute leukemias, the malignant cells, or blasts, are immature cells that are incapable of performing their immune system functions. The onset of acute leukemias is rapid. Chronic leukemias develop in more mature cells, which can perform some of their duties but not well. These abnormal cells may increase at a slower rate, so the disease may develop more slowly than in acute leukemia.
 
Causes The causes of ALL are unknown. Some increased risk for ALL may be associated with prolonged exposure to high doses of radiation, toxic chemicals, chemotherapy drugs, and a history of other cancers in the lymph system
 
Incidence About 31,000 new cases of leukemia are diagnosed in the United States each year.  
 
Signs & Symptoms Early symptoms may include fatigue, weakness, weight loss without dieting, fever, repeated infections, paleness, and enlarged lymph nodes.

 

 
 
 
Screening & Diagnosis No screening tests are available, and early detection can be difficult. Physical examination will identify swollen areas for biopsy tests. Other tests include blood and antibody analysis, bone marrow biopsy, and special staining of blood cells to confirm a cancer diagnosis.
 
Treatment The use of clinical trials is the most effective treatment method. Clinical trials may include chemotherapy, radiation therapy and/or immunotherapy
 

Information gathered from the resourses at  Roswell Park Cancer Institute & Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center