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What are different types of leukemia ?

The types of leukemia can be grouped based on how quickly the disease develops and gets worse. Leukemia is either chronic (which usually gets worse slowly) or acute (which usually gets worse quickly):

Acute versus Chronic Leukemia

In acute leukemia, the abnormal blood cells are blasts that remain very immature and cannot carry out their normal functions. With acute leukemia, the number of blasts increases rapidly, and the disease gets worse quickly.
In chronic leukemia, the blood-forming cells eventually mature, or differentiate, but they are not “normal.” They remain in the bloodstream much longer than normal white blood cells, and they are unable to combat infection well.

Myelogenous versus Lymphocytic Leukemia

Leukemia also is classified according to the type of white blood cell that is multiplying–that is, lymphocytes (immune system cells), granulocytes (bacteria-destroying cells), or monocytes (macrophage-forming cells).
If the cancerous transformation occurs in the type of marrow that makes lymphocytes, the disease is called lymphocytic leukemia. A lymphocyte is a kind of white blood cell inside your vertebrae immune system. If the cancerous change occurs in the type of marrow cells that go on to produce red blood cells, other types of white cells, and platelets, the disease is called myelogenous leukemia.

There are over a dozen different types of leukemia, but four types occur most frequently. These classifications are based upon whether the leukemia is acute versus chronic and myelogenous versus lymphocytic, that is:
Acute Myelogenous (granulocytic) Leukemia (AML) : AML affects myeloid cells and grows quickly. It accounts for more than 13,000 new cases of leukemia each year. It occurs in both adults and children.
Chronic Myelogenous (granulocytic) Leukemia (CML) : CML affects myeloid cells and usually grows slowly at first. It accounts for nearly 5,000 new cases of leukemia each year. It mainly affects adults.
Acute Lymphocytic (lymphoblastic) Leukemia (ALL) :
It is the most common type of leukemia in young children. Acute lymphocytic leukemia also affects adults, especially those age 65 and older.
Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) : CLL affects lymphoid cells and usually grows slowly. It accounts for more than 15,000 new cases of leukemia each year. Most often, people diagnosed with the disease are over age 55. It almost never affects children.

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