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About leukaemia

Leukaemia is cancer of your white blood cells and bone marrow. Bone marrow is the place where blood cells are made in your body. With leukaemia, immature blood cells divide quickly and do not grow into mature cells. These immature cells crowd your bone marrow and prevent it from making normal healthy cells.

Leukaemia can be divided into two main groups depending on how fast the disease develops: Acute leukaemia develops quickly, whereas chronic leukaemia develops more slowly. The word ‘acute’ does not refer to how successful the treatment will be.

The type of leukaemia also depends on which kind of white blood cell is affected. There are many different types of white blood cells. These include myeloid and lymphoid cells. Myeloid cells develop into red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. Lymphoid cells develop into white blood cells called lymphocytes. As a result, there are 4 types of leukaemia:

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