Leukemia is a type of cancer that grows in the blood tissues, including bone marrow and the lymphatic system. There are multiple forms of leukemia, and while this disease is most often associated with children several forms are also known to affect adults.
Because leukemia affects the vascular and lymphatic systems, early symptoms are closely associated with damage to the bodies ability to produce healthy blood, and to heal damaged tissues.
There are several ways leukemia is classified:
By speed of progression
- Acute leukemias are aggressive, growing quickly in immature blood cells. Common acute leukemias include AML and ALL.
- Chronic leukemias impact more mature blood cell types and have less rapidly developing symptoms and effects. Common chronic leukemias include CLL and CML.
By type of cell affected
- Myelogenous leukemias, which affect the myeloid cells. Common myeloid leukemias include AML and CML.
- Lymphocytic or lymphoblastic leukemias, which affect lymphoid tissues. Common leukemias of the lymphatic system include ALL and CLL.