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Childhood Cancer: Leukemia

Leukemia originates in the blood and bone marrow.

Leukemia is the most common cancer in children and adolescents.

The most common childhood leukemias include Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) and Acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

​​Symptoms include anemia (pale skin, fatigue, shortness of breath), joint pain, bruising, abnormal bleeding, swollen lymph nodes, abdominal pain, fevers, and recurrent infections.

The cause? This is still being researched. However, some are at a higher risk of developing childhood leukemia. This includes those:

  • Underlying genetic disorder

  • Previous exposure to radiation or chemotherapy

  • Sibling or twin with leukemia

  • Certain medications (immunosuppressants)

Diagnosis is done by a bone marrow biopsy.

Treatment can include chemotherapy, radiation, and/or stem cell transplant.

Thanks to modern medicine, kids treated for most pediatric leukemias have a 90% survival rate.


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