Leukaemia

learn more about leukaemia

Leukaemia can be divided into three types. Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia is the most common in Western countries and represents 30% of all cases of leukaemia. The other two types are chronic myeloid leukaemia, which is characterised by a predominant increase in the granulocytic series, and acute leukaemia, the neoplastic proliferation of immature haematopoietic cells.

The symptoms and prognosis depend on each type of leukaemia, the phase in which the disease is found and the complications that can appear.

Imagen preview del infográfico sobre terapia celular
Cell therapy and its applications in several diseases. [Infography only available in Spanish]
Download document

Acute leukaemia [SP]

Acute leukaemia is the neoplastic proliferation of immature haematopoietic cells whose progressive accumulation is accompanied by reduced production of the normal blood cells (reduced number of leukocytes, red blood cells and platelets).

The origin of the disease is unknown, but there are a number of factors associated with its development, including radiation, chemical products, medicinal products, genetic factors and viruses.

Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia

This is the most common type in Western countries and represents 30% of all cases of leukaemia. It especially affects males over the age of 60, and its incidence increases with age.

The disease is characterised by an accumulation of lymphocytes in the blood, bone marrow, lymph nodes, liver and spleen. These lymphocytes are morphologically normal but function abnormally. In 95% of cases, the disease involves B lymphocytes.

Chronic myeloid leukaemia

This is a common leukaemia and represents 15% of chronic leukaemia cases in adults. The disease presents between the third and sixth decades of life and is a rare disease in children and the elderly.

It is characterised by a predominant increase in the granulocytic series, which are in charge of producing leukocytes.

There is no defined cause, although a number of cases have been related to exposure to ionising radiation or certain chemical products. The so-called Philadelphia chromosome has also been implicated in the genesis of chronic myeloid leukaemia.

Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia

The disease often goes unnoticed and causes no symptoms and is therefore detected by chance during a routine analysis.

When the disease causes symptoms, the patient frequently experiences fever, swollen lymph nodes (adenopathies), fatigue (asthenia) and/or common infections, such as pneumonia and herpes zoster.

Acute leukaemia

The symptoms of acute leukaemia can result from the following:

  • The disease itself: fatigue, weakness, weight loss, abundant night sweats, etc.
  • Bone marrow invasion by neoplastic or leukemic cells: reduced number of red blood cells, which causes anaemia; leukocyte displacement, which increases the tendency for infection, and reduced number of platelets, which can cause haemorrhaging.
  • Leukemic cell invasion of other organs: spontaneous bone pain or pressure pain (very common in children), swollen lymph nodes, gum hypertrophy, etc.

Chronic myeloid leukaemia

This is commonly an asymptomatic disease. The disease can be suspected by abnormalities observed in laboratory tests.

As the condition progresses over time, it causes the gradual onset of asthenia, anorexia, weight loss and typically, discomfort in the left area of the abdomen, with the sensation of heavy digestion, caused by the spleen’s considerable increase in size, which compresses the stomach and other organs.

Chronic myeloid leukaemia

There is no defined cause, although a number of cases have been related to exposure to ionising radiation or certain chemical products.

It is known to be related to the Philadelphia chromosome. This chromosome is produced as the result of an oncogenic stimulation capable of changing the structure of two chromosomes (9 and 22) in an unknown manner.

Acute leukaemia 

Its origin is still not defined because its relationship to radiation and leukemogenic chemical substances has not yet been demonstrated. The only demonstrated origin is a clear familial incidence.


Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia

The origin of the disease is unknown, but there are a number of factors associated with its development, including radiation, chemical products, medicinal products, genetic factors and viruses.

A number of types of acute leukaemia can be cured, while the survival rate for others is on the increase.

Until fairly recently, the mortality rate for acute leukaemia was very high within a short period of time. At present, however, we can talk about curing some specific types of acute leukaemia. In many other cases, a notable increase in survival has been achieved. 

For chronic lymphocytic leukaemia, the prognosis depends on the stage of the disease. There are cases with survival equal to that of individuals of the same age without chronic lymphocytic leukaemia.

However, in other more advanced stages and depending on the prognostic factors, survival can be significantly lower. Survival will also depend on the complications that might arise over the course of the leukaemia.

Bone marrow transplantation plays a very important role in treatment, be it autologous (from the patient) or allogeneic (from a donor)".

Or we call

* Operating hours based on Spanish (Peninsula) time.

Thank you. We will be in touch shortly.

The Phone no. field is required.

Please review the phone no. indicated, which must contain 9-15 digits and begin with 6,8,9,71,72,73 or 74. For international numbers please indicate 00, followed by the international country code, followed by the phone number.

Wait a few moments while we process your request.

Close Submit

you mayBE INTERESTED

WHY CHOOSE US

Learn why the Clínica Universidad de Navarra is different from other hospitals.

Imagen de una niña pequeña con cáncer por los pasillos de la Clínica

CLINICAL TRIALS

Want to participate in our clinical trials? Learn which ones are active.

Imagen médico investigando con microscopio

INTERNATIONAL SERVICES

Know what we do for our international patients

Entrada principal a la Clínica Universidad de Navarra