Leukemia is the most Common Form of Cancer Among Children Worldwide

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In February 2014, International Agency for Research on Cancer (GLOBOCAN) published that 14.1 million new cases of cancer occurred globally. Cancer is a generic terminology used to refer to the unrestrained proliferation of abnormal cells. This growth may be malignant or benign. The term used to refer to the malignant cancer of the blood cells is leukemia. As of the year 2012, the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) reports that leukemia represents a percentage of 2.5% of all cancers with 352 cases diagnosed per 1000. From a regional perspective, Qatar ranks at the 24th position for leukemia with a rate of 5.4 deaths per 100,000 as documented by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2011. This paper covers an introduction into leukemia supported by epidemiological facts and focuses on acute lymphocytic leukemia, the possible triggers and ongoing research within this field. Under clinical and pathological aspects, leukemia is divided at two levels. The first level of division is based on the kind of blood cells affected i.e. the myeloid and lymphocytic lineages. The myeloid lineages are derived from the precursors of cells (particularly neutrophils and its precursor) involved in innate immunity whereas the lymphoid lineages are derived from precursors of cells involved with adaptive immunity. The second level of division is based on the progression of the disease i.e. acute or chronic. An acute progression indicates the rapid development of the disease with a predominance of

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