Leukaemia is the cancer of the blood that starts in the bone marrow, where blood cells are made. Your blood contains red cells, white cells and platelets. In leukaemia, the bone marrow makes immature white blood cells that are called leukaemic cells. These immature cells do not function normally, and crowd out the healthy cells.
Leukaemia can be either acute (gets worse quickly) or chronic (gets worse slowly). The four types of leukaemia are:
- Acute myelogenous leukaemia, which is the most common type
- Acute lymphocytic leukaemia, which is the most common type in young children
- Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia, which is common in adults
- Chronic myelogenous leukaemia, which mainly affects adults