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Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

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Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia

This booklet provides information about acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) for patients and their families. Brief descriptions of normal blood and marrow, the lymphatic system and definitions of medical terms are included.

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ALL results from an acquired or a genetic injury to the DNA of a single cell in the marrow. The effects of ALL include uncontrolled and exaggerated growth and accumulation of cells called "lymphoblasts" or "leukemic blasts," which fail to function as normal blood cells.

The presence of the leukemic blasts blocks the production of normal cells. As a result, when ALL is diagnosed, the number of healthy blood cells (red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets) is usually lower than normal.

last updated on Friday, February 07, 2014

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