ACUTE LYMPHOBLASTIC LEUKEMIA (ALL)
Acute Lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a cancer that starts from white blood cells called lymphocytes in the bone marrow (the soft inner part of the bones, where new blood cells are generated).
The term “acute” means that the leukemia can progress quickly, and if not treated, would probably be fatal within a few months. ‘Lymphoblastic’ means it develops from early (immature) forms of lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell.
Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia is the commonest childhood cancer. This arises from abnormalities in the precursors of normal lymphocytes which are otherwise a normal part of our immune system necessary to fight infections. These abnormal cells rapidly fill up the bone marrow space suppressing the normal cells.
In most cases, the disease is characterized by certain abnormalities in the chromosomes which promote abnormal growth of certain lymphoid cells rather than maturation to normal lymphocytes.
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