Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia: Signs And Symptoms
Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) is a type of cancer which the bone marrow creates huge numbers of immature lymphocytes. Lymphocytes are the type of white blood cells. This type of cancer may affect the white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets.
This kind of leukemia characterized the overproduction and accumulation of cancerous white blood cells known as lymphoblast. The patient diagnosed with leukemia has an overproduction of bone marrow which continuously multiplies to cause damages and destructions of the normal production of normal cells.
ALL is most common in childhood and it is within the range of two to five years of age. The signs of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia include fever and bruising. The bone marrow makes blood stem cells which mature as myeloid stem cells. These myeloid stem cells will evolve into the three types of blood stem cells.
Myeloid stem cell transforms into one of three classifications of mature blood cells. First, the red blood cells who carries oxygen and other substances and distribute it to all tissues of the body. Second, to prevent bleeding, platelets will form into blood clots. Lastly, white blood cells help and prevent infections and diseases.
The signs and symptoms of this childhood leukemia are anemia, dizziness, unexplained fever, and infection, being fatigue, excessive bruising, bone pain and joint pain, the difficulty of breathing, swelling in the lower limbs and abdomen, and petechiae. Petechiae are tiny red spots on the skin due to low platelets levels.
In diagnosing ALL, the patient should undergo a complete blood count, physical examination, and blood smears. Usually, the higher the white blood cell count, the worse the prognosis. A lumbar puncture will specify if ever the spinal column and brain have been affected. Medical imaging can also reveal if the other organs have been involved.