Childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia also called ALL or acute lymphocytic leukemia is a cancer of the blood and bone marrow. This type of cancer usually gets worse quickly if it is not treated. In a healthy child, the bone marrow makes blood stem cells immature cells that become mature blood cells over time. A blood stem cell may become a myeloid stem cell or a lymphoid stem cell. A lymphoid stem cell becomes a lymphoblast cell and then one of three types of lymphocytes white blood cells :.
Leukemia is a cancer of the blood cells. There are several broad categories of blood cells, including red blood cells RBCs , white blood cells WBCs , and platelets. Generally, leukemia refers to cancers of the WBCs. WBCs are a vital part of your immune system. They protect your body from invasion by bacteria, viruses, and fungi, as well as from abnormal cells and other foreign substances. They can also divide too quickly and eventually crowd out normal cells.
Hairy cell leukemia HCL is a rare type of blood and bone marrow cancer that affects your B lymphocytes, which are white blood cells that make antibodies to fight infections. These abnormal cells can take up the space of healthy B lymphocytes, which can weaken your immune system and make you susceptible to infections. HCL gets its name because the abnormal white blood cells look hairy under a microscope. Rare cases of hairy cell leukemia affect T lymphocytes, which are cells that help B lymphocytes fight infection. While the exact cause of HCL is unknown, some research shows a relationship between this type of cancer and exposure to the herbicide Agent Orange, which was used to destroy crops and jungle canopy during the Vietnam War.
Hairy cell leukemia is a cancer of the blood and bone marrow. This rare type of leukemia gets worse slowly or does not get worse at all. The disease is called hairy cell leukemia because the leukemia cells look "hairy" when viewed under a microscope.