Leukemia is a cancer of the blood and bone marrow. In simple terms, cancer is defined as the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells. Cancer can develop anywhere in the body. In leukemia, this rapid, out-of-control growth of abnormal cells takes place in the bone marrow of bones. These abnormal cells then spill into the bloodstream. Unlike other cancers, leukemia generally doesn’t form into a mass (tumor) that can be seen in imaging tests, such as X-rays. There are many types of leukemia. Some are more common in children; others are more common in adults. Treatment depends on the type of leukemia you have and other factors. Common symptoms of leukemia are:

  • Tire easily, little energy, weakness
  • Pale skin tone
  • Fever
  • Easy bruising and bleeding. Nosebleeds and bleeding gums. Tiny red spots in skin (called petechiae). Purplish patches in the skin
  • Bone or joint pain and/or tenderness
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck, underarm, groin or stomach; enlarged spleen or liver
  • Frequent infections
  • Unplanned weight loss
  • Night sweats
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pain or full feeling under the ribs on the left side

Barriers in childhood cancer care

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Understanding key facts about Childhood Cancer


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