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Leukemia

See Also:
Leukemia: Introduction & Pictures
Leukemia: 4 Types & Stages
Leukemia: Causes & Risk Factors
Leukemia: Signs & Symptoms
Leukemia: Medical Tests & Diagnosis
Leukemia: Treatment Options
Cancer Search Engine

Related: Types of Leukemia

Types

There are two classification criteria for leukemia which determines the type of leukemia. It involves the 1). rate or duration of developement, and the 2). type of bone marrow cells that are affected. These classification criteria include:

1. Developmental and progression rate

According to this criteria, leukemia is classified as chronic or acute:

  • CHRONIC LEUKEMIA: This is a type of leukemia characterized by a slow progression. In its early stages, chronic leukemia is asymptomatic, because the small number of abnormal white blood cells still can carry out some of the normal white blood cells functions. Symptoms occur in advanced stages when the number of abnormal white blood cells increases.

  • ACUTE LEUKEMIA: This is a type of leukemia characterized by a rapid onset and course caused by an increased number of abnormal white blood cells. Acute leukemia can be fatal within weeks or months if not treated.

2. Type of bone marrow cells affected, which include:

  • Lymphocytic (also called lymphoblastic): This is a type of leukemia that affects the lymphocyte cells in bone marrow. Lymphocytes are a a type of leukocyte (white blood cell), that are suppose to increase in number when it's necessary to fight infection. There are 3 types of lymphocyte cells which include: natural killer cells (large), and T-cell (small), and B-cells (small).

  • Myelogenous (also called myeloid): This is a type of leukemia that affects the myeloid cells in bone marrow. Myeloid cells go on to form red cells, white blood cells that are NOT lymphocytic, and platelets.

According to the above Chronic/Acute -AND- Lympocyte/Myeloid criteria, there are 4 main types of leukemia:

I. Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

II. Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia

III. Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia

IV. Acute Myeloid Leukemia

 

Each of these 4 main types is then further broken down into subtypes, including a rare type of chronic leukemia called Hairy Cell Leukemia which is classified as a sub-type of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia.

Stages

Most cancers are staged on the I, II, III, and IV system which reflects the rate of tumor development and/or progression. However, the staging for leukemia is a little bit different.

"Because leukemia already involves all of the bone marrow in the body, and in many cases, has spread to other organs such as the liver, spleen, and lymph nodes, the staging of leukemia depends on other information that reflects the patient's outlook for survival. Different staging systems are used for different types of chronic leukemia. Some types do not have any staging system." - American Cancer Society.

The "staging" for each type of leukemia includes:

Stages of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (called stages)

Stages of Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (called stages)

Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia

Acute Myeloid Leukemia

Hairy Cell Leukemia (called phases)

See Also:
Leukemia: Introduction & Pictures
Leukemia: 4 Types & Stages
Leukemia: Causes & Risk Factors
Leukemia: Signs & Symptoms
Leukemia: Medical Tests & Diagnosis
Leukemia: Treatment Options
Cancer Search Engine

Related: Types of Leukemia

Article by Alina Morrow, MS
Medical Writer
OmniMedicalSearch.com

Leukemia is sometimes misspelled as lukemia or luekemia.

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Page Last Modified:
12/01/2010