Leukemia is often considered a child’s cancer. However, almost 90 percent of all leukemia cases are diagnosed in adults. About 29,000 adults and 2,000 children are diagnosed with leukemia each year in the U.S.
Leukemia is a cancer of the blood or bone marrow characterized by an abnormal increase of blood cells. At UAMS, we not only want to help treat your condition but also help you understand what you are facing.
While there are many subsets of leukemia, in the broadest sense it can be considered either in the acute form or the chronic form:
- Acute leukemia is characterized by the rapid increase of immature bloods cells, making the bone marrow unable to produce healthy blood cells. Immediate treatment is required due to the quick progression of cancerous cells.
- Chronic leukemia has an excessive build up of somewhat mature but abnormal, white blood cells. This type is almost twice as common as acute.
Symptoms with acute leukemia will develop quickly, while symptoms will gradually appear with chronic leukemia. In fact, about 20 percent of people with chronic leukemia do not have symptoms when they are diagnosed. Symptoms for both chronic and acute leukemia are the same, which include:
- Unexplained fevers
- Frequent infections
- Night sweats
- Fatigue due to anemia
- Easy bleeding or bruising
At the UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, we can offer you hope and cutting-edge treatment no matter what type of leukemia you may be facing. Our doctors will help you develop the best treatment plan for your individual situation. Treatment will depend on the type of leukemia, age, overall health, any previous treatment therapy and other factors.
To be treated for leukemia at UAMS, you will need a referral from your primary care physician. If you do not have one, you can make an appointment with our Center for Primary Care. If you are a referring physician, please call 1-866-UAMSdoc.