Acute VS Chronic Leukemia


Leukemia is a devastating form of blood cancer that affects your blood cells and marrow. The two major types are acute and chronic. These two have many similarities in the symptoms and treatments but are vastly different when it comes to the way they progress.

Overview Of Acute Leukemia

1. Rapid
With acute leukemia the abnormal blood cells are unable to perform their normal functions due to the immaturity of the cells. This also causes the cells to multiply very rapidly, making the person feel very ill at a sudden pace.

2. Not Enough Room
Because the cells are increasing at a very fast rate, yet cannot perform their functions, they begin to replace the healthy cells in the blood and marrow. This causes the person to develop easy infection, easy bleeding, and anemia.

3. Young Ages
Because acute leukemia is marked by immature cells it is most common in young children ages 2 through 5. However it is possible to occur in adults, but much less likely.

4. Symptoms
Symptoms of acute leukemia include loss of appetite, spots under the skin from bleeding, high and sudden fever, unexplained bruising, extreme fatigue, and bone pain.

5. Prognosis
Many factors contribute to the prognosis of acute leukemia, including which part of the body’s blood is being most affected. Without proper treatment this disease can spread very rapidly to the brain and spinal cord, making it very dangerous. With prompt treatment the possibility of remission is high.

Overview of Chronic Leukemia

1. Early Detection
Chronic leukemia means that the affected blood cells can still perform the majority of their functions, making it a very slow progressing disease. This also means that it is often diagnosed very early, before symptoms even begin, in routine blood tests.

2. Three Phases
Chronic leukemia has three potential phases, however not all are always reached. These are the chronic phase, when the cells still perform most functions, the accelerated phase, the number of white blood cells change drastically either up or down and anemia is usually developed, and the blast crisis phase, which is when the cancerous cells increases in the bone marrow and infections and severe symptoms develop.

3. Risk Factors
It has been shown that there are some factors that may increase the likely hood of chronic leukemia developing. These are : radiation exposure and age and gender. Your risk increases the older you get and is more common in males. Chronic Leukemia is not hereditary.

4. Symptoms
The symptoms of chronic leukemia are hard to pinpoint because they can be caused by many different things. These are the most common experienced: Weight Loss, enlarged spleen, stomach pain, loss of appetite, night sweats, and bone pain.

Differences Between Acute Leukemia and Chronic Leukemia

1. Time frame
The key difference between acute and chronic leukemia is how quickly they progress. Acute leukemia progresses at a much fast rate than chronic leukemia does.

2. Who Is Affected
Due to the way that the cells increase and function, the difference between affected age ranges are on the opposite ends of the spectrum. Acute leukemia is most commonly found in very young children, with immature cells. Chronic leukemia is more common in older people, because it develops very slowly and has to combat already mature blood cells.

3. Survival Rates
When it comes to the survival rates of these type of leukemia many things have to be taken into account. With chronic leukemia age is a huge factor, with the average percentage of people living over 5 years at 60%. 50% of patients under the age of 40 with acute leukemia lived over 5 year while only 12% of patients over 50.