Foon, Kenneth A. Roswell Park Memorial Institute, Buffalo, New York.
Vaickus, Louis Roswell Park Memorial Institute, Buffalo, New York.
Last reviewed:April 2020
Show previous versions
- Classification and diagnosis
- Pathogenesis and clinical course
- Complications and prognosis
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
A disease characterized by a progressive and abnormal accumulation of white blood cells (leukocytes). Leukemia is a cancer affecting the blood-forming tissues of the body. Leukemic cells (Fig. 1) are malignant because they have three characteristics common to all cancers: (1) they exhibit uncontrolled growth that is frequently associated with an inability to mature normally; (2) they arise from a single precursor cell; and (3) they disregard anatomic boundaries and metastasize to organs or tissues in which leukocytes are not normally found. The expanding clone of leukemic cells infiltrates organs and tissues, particularly the bloodstream and bone marrow, where they disrupt the production of normal cells. The resulting symptoms include fatigue, pallor, infections, bruising and bleeding, and discomfort caused by enlarged organs. In humans, the term leukemia encompasses more than 20 distinct malignancies. See also: Blood; Cancer; Hematopoiesis; Oncology
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Contributors include more than 10,000 highly qualified scientists and 45 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8700 articles covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 19,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information