Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL)

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Overview:

The researchers found a statistically significant correlation between a rise in soy production and acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) deaths in children between 2008 and 2019 in Brazil’s Amazon and Cerrado biomes.

About Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL)

  • It is a type of cancer of the blood and bone marrow — the spongy tissue inside bones where blood cells are made.
  • The word "acute" in acute lymphocytic leukemia comes from the fact that the disease progresses rapidly and creates immature blood cells, rather than mature ones. 
  • It is the most common type of cancer in children. 
  • Symptoms: Bleeding from the gums, Bone pain,Fever, Frequent infections and Frequent or severe nosebleeds etc.
  • Causes:
    • It occurs when a bone marrow cell develops changes (mutations) in its genetic material or DNA. 
    • A cell's DNA contains the instructions that tell a cell what to do. Normally, the DNA tells the cell to grow at a set rate and to die at a set time.
    • In ALL, the mutations tell the bone marrow cell to continue growing and dividing.
    • When this happens, blood cell production becomes out of control.
    • The bone marrow produces immature cells that develop into leukemic white blood cells called lymphoblasts.
    • These abnormal cells are unable to function properly, and they can build up and crowd out healthy cells.
    • It's not clear what causes the DNA mutations that can lead to acute lymphocytic leukemia.
  • Treatment: It may include chemotherapy or targeted drugs that specifically kill cancer cells.

Q1) What is Bone marrow?

It is the spongy tissue found within the cavities of bones, particularly the larger ones like the hip and thigh bones. It is a crucial part of the human body's hematopoietic system, responsible for producing blood cells, including red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.

Source: Hike in soy production in Brazil linked to higher child cancer deaths, finds study