Leukemia is a cancer of the blood cells that causes the production of abnormally high white blood cells. White blood cells are the cells of the immune system involved in protecting the body against infectious disease. Like red blood cells that carry oxygen, they are produced in the bone marrow and an overproduction of them causes serious health issues including anaemia.
Leukaemia can be either acute or chronic and there are various types of leukemia.
Acute lymphocytic leukemia
The most common type of leukemia in young children that can also occur in adults.
Acute myelogenous leukemia (AML)
A common type of leukemia that occurs in children and adults. AML is the most common type of acute leukemia in adults.
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)
The most common chronic adult leukemia, you may feel well for years without needing treatment.
Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML)
This type of leukemia mainly affects adults and may have few or no symptoms for months or years before entering a phase in which the leukemia cells grow more quickly.
A complete blood count blood test will be done to check for white blood cell increase which could be a sign of cancer.
A needle biopsy is done to check the bone marrow for signs of cancer.