Today’s episode on Leukemias continues my 3-part series on Hematological Cancers. I’ll cover an overview on leukemias, common treatments, & a brief case study on a patient I’ve worked with who has leukemia. Thanks for tuning in, & enjoy!
Leukemia is generally classified as acute or chronic, & as lymphoid or myeloid in nature. Acute can result in death in a few months without appropriate treatment; chronic means a longer disease course (can be many years). “Lympho-” categorizes leukemias as originating from the lymphatic system. “Myelo-” means leukemias originating from bone marrow tissue. Other terms to note: “-blastic” refers to large, immature cells (those that don’t have the typical function of adult cells), & “-cytic” refers to mature but smaller cells than normal.
- Acute lymphoblastic/lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) – most common in children & young adults up to age 25, then incidence peaks again in older adults 75 years & up.
- Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) – common in adults 50-60 years & up
- Acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) – common in adults 60 years & up
- Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) – common in middle – older aged adults
Common treatments for leukemia include: chemotherapy, radiation (although not as common), steroids, targeted therapies, hematopoietic stem cell transplants
Peterson C, Goodman CC. The Hematologic System. In: Goodman CC, Fuller KS, eds. Pathology: Implications for the physical therapist. 4th ed. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Saunders; 2015.