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Leukaemia

Read time: 5 mins
Last updated: 30th Mar 2020

Leukaemia, which may be acute or chronic, is a cancer that originates in blood-forming tissue such as the bone marrow, leading to the over-production of abnormal white blood cells. These abnormal cells accumulate more quickly in acute leukaemia, which is more aggressive than chronic leukaemia.

Lymphocytes and myeloid cells are the two main white blood cell types affected in leukaemia, leading to four leukaemia manifestations including acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), acute lymphocytic leukaemia (ALL), chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) and chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL). Symptoms vary depending on subtype and can include weakness, increased rates of infection and general feeling of illness.

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