Sample Scholarship Essays

Leukemia

Leukemia Leukemia is a disease characterized by the formation of abnormal numbers of white blood cells, for which no certain cure has been found. Leukemia is also conditions characterized by the transformation of normal blood-forming cells into abnormal white blood cells whose unrestrained growth overwhelms and replaces normal bone marrow and blood cells. Leukemias are named according to the normal cell from which they originate, such as Lymphocyte Leukemia. Lymphocyte Leukemia is where a Lymphocyte cell is transformed into a Leukemia cell. Another example of Leukemia is Myelocytic or (Granulocytic Leukemia). This forms when a Myelocytic cell is changed or transformed into a Leukemia cell.

Different Leukemia’s are located in the microscope and by how much protein they contain. These Leukemia’s are usually very severe and need treatment right away. The present incidence of new cases per year in the United States is about 25 to every 100,000 persons. The danger to the patient lies in the growth of these abnormal white cells, which interfere with the growth of the red blood cells, normal white blood cells, and the blood platelets. The uncontrolled growth of the abnormal white cells produces a tendency to unstop bleeding, the risk of getting serious infection in the wounds, and a very small possibility of obstruction of the blood vessels. Treatment of these Leukemias include chemotherapy with alkylafing agents, or antimetabodies that suppress the growth of abnormal white cells. Another treatment of some kind would be the x-ray or the administration or radioactive substances, or radiophosphorus, may be used.

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After treatment these diseases may last for many years. Age of the person diagnosed with Leukemia does play an important part in how that individual responds to any treatment. The older the person the less response he may have to treatment. Leukemia in Animals white blood cells is much less common as Leukemia in humans white blood cells. Today’s treatment mostly includes chemotherapy and or bone marrow transplantation supportive care, where transfusions of blood components and prompt treatment of complicating infections, is very important.

Ninety percent of children with Acute Lymphocyte Leukemia have received chemotherapy and fifty percent of theses children have been fully cured of Leukemia. Treatment of AML or Acute Myeolcytic Leukemia is not as successful but has been improving more and more throughout the 1990’s. Scientists that study the cause of Leukemia have not had very much success lately. Very large doses of x-rays can increase the efficacy growth of Leukemia. Chemicals such as Benzene also may increase the risk of getting Leukemia. Scientists have tried experiments on Leukemia in Animals by transmitting RNA into the body of the Animal.

Interpretation of these results in relation with human Leukemia is very cautious at this time. Studies have also suggested that family history, race, genetic factors, and geography may all play some part in determining the rates of growth of these Leukemias. Stewart Alsop is an example of Acute Myeoblastic Leukemia, or AML. On the day of July 21, 1971 Stewart was made aware of some of the doctors suspicions due to his bone marrow test. He was told by his doctor in Georgetown that his marrow slides looked so unusual that he had brought in other doctors to view the test and they could not come to an agreement so they all suggested that he take another bone marrow exam.

The second test was known to be “hypocelluar” meaning that it had very few cells of any sort, normal of abnormal. The Georgetown doctors counted, about fourty-four percent of his cells were abnormal, and he added, with a condor that he later discovered characteristics. “They were ugly-looking cells.” Most of them looked like Acute Meyoblastic Leukemia cells, but not all some of them looked like the cells of another kind of Leukemia, Acatymphoblastic Leukemia, and some of them looked like the cells of still another kind of bone marrow cancer, not a Leukemia, it is called Dysprotinemia. And even the Myeloblastic cells didn’t look exactly like Myeloblastic cells should look. Stewart has been treated with chemotherapy and is still living today but he doesn’t have very much longer to live.

Sadako Saski was born in Japan in the year of 1943 she died twelve years later in the year of 1955 of Leukemia. She was in Hiroshima when the United States Air Force dropped an atomic bomb on that city in an attempt to end World War II. Sadako Saski was only two years old when all this had happened. Ten years later, Sadako had been diagnosed with Leukemia as a result of the radiation from the bomb. At this time Sadako was only a twelve year old little girl and she died of Leukemia.

Everyday Sadako grew weaker and weaker thinking about her death and the day finally came. Sadako died on October 25, 1955. Sadako was very much loved by all of her classmates. At the time of death, her classmates folded 356 paper cranes to be buried with her. This is a symbol in Jpan of thoughtfulness. In summary to what I have learned about Leukemia it is a very painful disease. The people with Leukemia suffer very much throughout the disease and treatment of the disease, even if they are eventually cured.

The treatment it took to get there was very painful. The studies of Leukemia have helped alot of people to be cured but there are still alot of people suffering due to no cure found to help them. I’m sure like all other cures needed, the money is short funded for the research that cost so very much. Maybe someday soon, we hope, they will find a cure for all kinds of cancer.

Leukemia

Leukemia According to the Cancer Book from the American Cancer Society, Leukemia is a cancer of the blood. It was first identified as a new disease in around 1830 in Germany. The scientific term, “leukemia,” comes from the Greek words that mean “white blood.” The disease is described as a cancerous disorder not just of the blood itself, but also of the organs that produce the blood cells in the body. The organs are mainly the bone marrow and the lymph system, where normal red and white cells, lymph cells, and platelets grow before entering the bloodstream. Normal cells usually go through the same process but with differences in rate, number, and function ability. With the disease, the bone marrow will not be able to produce the sufficient levels of red blood cells and platelets, while the white blood cells will produce so rapidly that the cells will not become mature enough to fight off infections.

As the disease progresses, the whole blood system will become useless due to the vast amount of immature cells produced. If a person with the disease is not treated, there will be excessive bleeding and infections until the body reaches the point where it becomes defenseless. The body will make minor injury or infection very serious. Leukemia itself does not always kill people. Instead, people die from infections such as small virus or bacteria because there are not enough normal white blood cells in the body. Also, people could die form internal bleeding, which could have been prevented by the platelets. Leukemia appears more commonly in adults then children.

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A survey in 1989 stated that approximately 25,000 new cases of the disease are diagnosed annually in the United States, 22,500 of them are adults and only 2,500 are children. It also shows that men are affected by leukemia 30 percent more frequently than women. Ten years ago, about 17,000 people die from the disease each year. Many of the advanced industrial nations have increased the study of leukemia since the 1930s. In the Personal Health Report, the information stated that there are two major types are leukemia: “Lymphocytic leukemia which involves lymphoid committed cells which form and mature in the lymphatic system, and granulocytic leukemia which affects myeloid committed cells which form and mature in the bone marrow” (355). Each of the two types can occur in either acute or chronic form.

Acute form usually affects young cells that are still in the process of growing; they can divide very quickly and may speed the progress of the disease. The chronic form involves the mature cells that reproduce in a low rate or the ones that have stopped dividing. According to the Home Medical Guide, acute lymphocytic leukemia is most commonly seen in children between the age of two and nine. In this type of leukemia, males are affected more frequently than females. Before treatment was available, the average survival rate is only 5 to 6 months.

As treatment developed, more then 95 percent of all children are putted into complete remission. Both adult and childhood disease can be cured in around four years, and the therapy can be discontinued. Chronic lymphocytic leukemia is the most common form of cancer found in the industrialized countries. Like acute lymphocytic, it occurs more frequently in males then in females. The patients that are affected by chronic lymphocytic leukemia are usually older then any other patients with different types of leukemia.

The cause of this specific type of disease is still unknown: Strong evidence points to problems of function and control in the immune system diagnosis is very often discovered by accident in the course of routine blood testing for other medical reasons, since fully 25 to 30 percent of newly diagnosed patients have no symptoms..the degree of bone marrow infiltration by small lymphocytes is a much more accurate sign of degree of disease. (452) According to the Home Medical Guide, acute granulocytic leukemia usually occur in older ages: “The typical patient is thirty to sixty years old, the frequency of the disease increasing with age. The natural course of untreated this disease leads to an average survival of only two to five months” (451). With chemotherapy, the survival rate can be lengthened to about 5 years. Around 75 percent of the patient can be cured with a complete remission.

This type of leukemia can cause heart attacks and strokes by blocking the arteries: “It is treated by removing large numbers of white cells from the patient’s blood and increasing the intensity of the chemotherapy”(453). Over 50 percent of the patients are found with abnormalities in the chromosomes: “Evidence strongly suggests that each patient’s individual chromosomal makeup has a strong direct bearing on prognosis” (453). Patients that have abnormal genes in their leukemia cells usually have the disease. Chronic granulocytic leukemia occurs in people with ages forty to sixty. The disease starts out very slowly. Patient will not notice anything wrong until after three to six months.

Many organs such as the liver, spleen and lymph nodes will enlarge in over half of the patients. The study of chromosomes are important in this type of leukemia: “The so-called Philadelphia chromosomes, the first abnormal chromosome found in the leukemias, occurs in over 90 percent of patients” (454). Applying therapy may reduce of Philadelphia in the white blood cells. In the Cancer Book, the author explained that the basic cause of leukemia is still unknown. Factors such as exposure to radiation, chemicals, and certain drugs may cause the disease: “Certain chemicals, such as benzene, have long been known to cause damage to bone marrow calls which form the blood, and it is logical to conclude they can also cause a cancer in those cells” (378).

Also, the genes called oncogenes may be directly involved in the development of many types of cancers, including leukemia: Oncogenes are cancer-causing genes that are part of many people’s normal genetic makeup. These genes can apparently be activated under circumstances that has not yet identified..by identifying and understanding specific oncogenes, people who are considered at risk can be identified long before a cancer begins. Although this is a long way in the future..the concept of the oncogene has given scientists a new and fundamental approach to the study of cancer that much believe will yield fruitful result. (379) The book further explained the causes of leukemia, and it says the hereditary causes of the disease are still far form being fully understood. There are chances that close relatives of leukemia patients have a risk of getting the disease. The greatest possibility is found in the identical twin of a child who has the acute leukemia before the age of eight: “Approximately 20 percent of these individuals will develop the disease within one year of their twin’s diagnosis” (379).

This shows that genetics are playing an important role in the disease. But whether heredity is also involved in all cases is still an unanswered question. According to the Personal Health Report, leukemia may be caused by other types of disease that damage the bone marrow, or anticancer drug used to treat other variety of cancer: “Diseases that cause severe depression of the marrow, such as aplastic anemia, are associated with a high incidence of leukemia.” (356) Patients that …

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