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In the case study of Jill, who was a five-year-old girl, it was stated by her mother that Jill is feeling very tired lately. With that, she also lacks the energy to do any task and she sleeps more than usual. In addition to all of this, she did not consume her food properly and also have multiple bruises on her legs and arms even without involving in a rough play. She also had mild cervical adenopathy and enlarged liver and spleen. These signs and symptoms indicate that she might be suffering from leukaemia which happens due to stem cells proliferation in the bone marrow. The clinical presentation of leukaemia consists of having a fever, experiencing lethargy and bleeding. Children also have enlarged spleen or liver and most of them have lymphadenopathy. In children, weight loss has also reported. They also have symptoms like excessive bruising, heavy menstrual periods, chest pains, nosebleeds and so on (Davis, Viera and Mead 2014). This disease can be contracted if the children are exposed to harmful environmental factors such as radiations or smoking. This can also happen due to genetic inheritance (Jin et al 2016). Pathophysiology of leukaemia involves the proliferation of lymphoid cells within the bone marrow abnormally. There are many genetic syndromes such as Down syndrome, Bloom syndrome, Fanconi anaemia and so on which predispose the leukaemia cases. Chromosomal aberration can also cause leukaemia in patients. Fatigue can be caused due to inflammation in the body and therefore, the patient might feel more sleepy than usual. Bruising in patients occur because the patients do not have enough platelets in their body and thus they cannot prevent blood vessels from bleeding (Terwilliger et al. 2017).
In Australia, 4,527 new cases of leukaemia have been reported in the year of 2020. The total number of deaths from leukaemia in 2019 has been 1,958. In addition to that, 12,469 people patient of leukaemia were living in Australia at the end of 2015. It is 8th common diagnosed cancer in the country. For the year 2020, it can be said that 15 out of 100,000 people suffer from leukaemia and the rate is expected to increase with increment in the age (Cancer Australia, Australian Government 2020).
This condition can be caused in children if they are exposed to radiations which are ionizing and also to benzene. Household exposure to pesticides can also lead to childhood leukaemia. It can also happen due to molecular changes and alteration in the stem cells. Other factors can be drug use and consumption of alcohol by the mother while she was pregnant with the child and genetic factors (Jin et al. 2016). However, the risks factors can be controlled but leukaemia cannot be prevented or stopped in the patients (Whitehead et al. 2016). Therefore, the only option to treat leukaemia is via chemotherapy, monoclonal antibodies, radiations or hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (Davis et al. 2014).
In conclusion, it can be said that leukaemia is a disease which is caused by uncontrolled cell proliferation of the lymphoid cells. The signs and symptoms of this disease can be the patient experiencing lethargy, having bruises all over the body, nose bleed and bleeding from the body and so on. Jill, the patient also had enlarged liver and spleen which is also a common feature of leukaemia in addition to other symptoms. Adenopathy could also observe d in her case. The diagnosis was made after looking at the signs which match with the leukaemia disease. Risk factors for developing this disease could be exposure with ionizing radiations, benzenes and genetic factors. It can also happen if the mother has consumed drugs and alcohol while being pregnant. The risk factors however could be reduced but the disease is not modifiable and hence he only option which is left is to treat it with chemotherapy and monoclonal antibodies and so on.
Cancer Australia, Australian Government. 2020. Retrieved at https://www.canceraustralia.gov.au/affected-cancer/cancer-types/leukaemia/statistics#:~:text=It%20is%20estimated%20that%20they,2%2C734%20males%20and%201%2C793%20females [Accessed on 18 September 2020]
Davis, A.S., Viera, A.J. and Mead, M.D. 2014. Leukemia: An overview for primary care. American Family Physician, vol. 89, no. 9, pp.731-738.
Jin, M.W., Xu, S.M., An, Q. and Wang, P. 2016. A review of risk factors for childhood leukemia. European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences, vol. 20, no. 18, pp.3760-3764.
Terwilliger, T. and Abdul-Hay, M.J.B.C.J. 2017. Acute lymphoblastic leukemia: A comprehensive review and 2017 update. Blood Cancer Journal, vol. 9, no. 6, pp.e577-e577. https://doi.org/10.1038/bcj.2017.53
Whitehead, T. P., Metayer, C., Wiemels, J. L., Singer, A. W., and Miller, M. D. 2016. Childhood Leukemia and Primary Prevention. Current Problems in Pediatric and Adolescent Health Care, vol. 46, no. 10, 317–352. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cppeds.2016.08.004
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