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Leukaemia - an overview

Key points

  • Leukaemia is cancer of the white blood cells.
  • There are several different types of leukaemia. They are classified by which cells are affected and how quickly the condition develops.
  • You may be offered treatments such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Your doctor will be able to advise you on which treatment option is best for you.

Further information

Sources

  • Leukaemias. Medscape. www.emedicine.medscape.com, published 1 April 2014
  • Overview of leukaemia. The Merck Manuals. www.merckmanuals.com, published July 2012
  • Simon C Everitt H, van Dorp F. Oxford handbook of general practice. 3rd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press 2010:674−7
  • Sherwood L. Human Physiology: From cells to systems. 8th ed. USA: Brooks/Cole; 2013:394−404
  • Overview of leukaemia. BMJ Best Practice. www. bestpractice.bmj.com, published 24 May 2013
  • Singer CRJ, Baglin T, Doka I. Oxford handbook of clinical haematology. 3rd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press 2009:120 −50
  • Eichhorst B, Dreyling M, Robak T et al. Chronic lymphocytic leukemia: ESMO Clinical Practice Guidelines for diagnosis, treatment and follow-up. Ann Oncol 2011; 22 (suppl 6):vi50-vi54. doi: 10.1093/annonc/mdr377
  • Acute myeloid leukaemia risks and causes. Cancer Research UK. www.cancerresearchuk.org, published 22 February 2014
  • Leukaemia incidence statistics. Cancer Research UK. www.cancerresearchuk.org, accessed 6 March 2014
  • Dasatinib, nilotinib and standard-dose imatinib for the first-line treatment of chronic myeloid leukaemia. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), 2012. www.nice.org.uk
  • Acute Leukemia. The Merck Manuals. www.merckmanuals.com, published July 2012
  • Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) risks and causes. Cancer Research UK. www.cancerresearchuk.org, published 15 January 2014
  • Chemotherapy for breast cancer. American Cancer Society. www.cancer.org, published 11 September 2013
  • Acute myeloid leukaemia tests. Cancer Research UK. www.cancerresearchuk.org, accessed 26 February 2014
  • Acute myelogenous leukaemia. BMJ Best Practice. www.bestpractice.bmj.com, published 9 August 2013
  • Acute lymphocytic leukaemia. BMJ Best Practice. www.bestpractice.bmj.com, accessed 30 August 2013
  • Further tests for acute myeloid leukaemia. Cancer Research UK. www.cancerresearchuk.org, published 11 February 2014
  • Radiotherapy for acute myeloid leukaemia. Cancer Research UK. www.cancerresearchuk.org, accessed reviewed 16 May 2014
  • Radiotherapy for chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL). Cancer Research UK. www.cancerresearchuk.org, published 17 July 2013
  • Chronic myelogenous leukaemia. BMJ Best Practice. www.bestpractice.bmj.com, published 1 November 2013
  • Joint Formulary Committee. British National Formulary (online) London: BMJ Group and Pharmaceutical Press. www.medicinescomplete.com, accessed 5 March 2014 (online version)
  • Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Medscape. www.emedicine.medscape.com, published 31 March 2014
  • Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. The Merck Manuals. www.merckmanuals.com, published August 2013
  • Bone marrow or stem cell transplants for ALL. Cancer Research UK. www.cancerresearchuk.org, published 19 August 2013
  • Biological therapy for chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL). Cancer Research UK. www.cancerresearchuk.org, published 17 July 2013
  • Rituximab for the first-line treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), 2010. www.nice.org.uk
  • Worry, anxiety and panic attacks. Macmillan cancer support. www.macmillan.org.uk, reviewed 1 May 2012
  • How you can help yourself. Macmillan cancer support. www.macmillan.org.uk, reviewed 1 May 2012
  • Coping with acute myeloid leukaemia. Cancer Research UK. www.cancerresearchuk.org, published 26 February 2012
  • Diet and exercise after acute myeloid leukaemia. Cancer Research UK. www.cancerresearchuk.org, published 24 February 2014
  • Hair loss, hair thinning and cancer drugs. Cancer Research UK. www.cancerresearchuk.org, published 31 January 2014
  • Sickness (nausea) and cancer drugs. Cancer Research UK. www.cancerresearchuk.org, published 31 January 2014
  • Isoda T, Ford AM, Tomizawa D et al. Immunologically silent cancer clone transmission from mother to offspring. PNAS 2009; 106(12):17882-85. doi:10.1073/pnas.0904658106

 

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  • This information was published by Bupa's Health Information Team and is based on reputable sources of medical evidence. It has been reviewed by appropriate medical or clinical professionals. Photos are only for illustrative purposes and do not reflect every presentation of a condition. The content is intended only for general information and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional. For more details on how we produce our content and its sources, visit the about our health information page.

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