Who Discovered Leukemia

Leukemia is one of the most feared diseases today. The mere mention of it could cause some people to faint. You see, leukemia is another word for blood cancer. It is a sickness in which mutated blood cells increase and damage other healthy cells. In the process the “mutant” white blood cells seize the red blood cells. It results in oxygen shortage throughout the body. In a serious stage, this later results in multiple organ failure.

Who discovered leukemia

Once more, the Greeks are said to be the first discoverers of cancer way back in the 4th or 5th Century BCE.  The oldest proof of the presence of cancer was found by Louis Leakey in Kenya in 1932. Leakey found a mandible with tumor.

Leukemia Who Discovered Leukemia

But leukemia as cancer was not known until 1845.  It was diagnosed by Dr. John Hughes Benett  to a patient of his in Edinburgh, Scotland. Bennett  called the disease leucocythaemia.  Around the 19th Century European doctors had started to observe abnormal levels of white blood cells in patients. Lacking a common name for it, they called the disease  “weisses blut”, meaning white blood.  Some popular names that were associated with that discovery where Rudolph Vurchow (who coined the name “weisses blut”), Alfred Velkpeau, and Paul Ehrlich. In 1872 Ernst Neuman observed the leukemia infected the bone marrow, too.

Around 1913, leukemia had already been recognized as well as its four types: erythroleukemia, acute lymphocytic leukemia, chirnic myelogenous  leukemia, and chronic lymphocytic leukemia.  At the time leukemia was thought an incurable disease. In 1970 it was found out that some patients could be cured of leukemia. By the 1980s and 90s, more and more patients suffering from leukemia were cured. The figures of cured patients were at 70 %.

Dr. John Hughes Benett Who Discovered Leukemia

General types of leukemia

Cancer of the blood has many types. The type depends on what group it belongs to. The two general groups are acute and chronic. Under the acute type, there is the acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), and acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Under chronic leukemia, there is the acute myelogenous leukemia and chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

Over the decades more and more people catch cancer for one reason or another. On the flipside, more patients get cured of cancer than in the past. Before the 60s, cancer was considered the end stage of a sickness, and even doctors thought only a miracle could save a patient with cancer.

One vital reason for the rapid advance of cancer cure is early detection of mutating cells.  A certain Dr. William Harvey pioneered studies on knowing the circulatory system of the blood.

Your Lifestyle and leukemia

As in most diseases today, having blood cancer is a lifestyle issue. It is observed that leukemia is more common in highly developed counties than in developing counties. It comes down to issues on hygiene, experts point out. Families living in rich counties are usually smaller and have far cleaner public spaces. Naturally their immune system does not respond as well to infections as those who live in less “sheltered” conditions. It does not mean you should seek out the wilds or live in a dirty environment. Keep in mind that leukemia can be avoided by developing a strong resistance to carcinogens and living a healthy lifestyle, one that is free from processed foods.

Common leukemia treatments

In ancient times, a poison was used to cure leukemia. Hippocrates and the Hindus used arsenic to cure leukemia. Thomas Fowler made a solution of arsenic trioxide and potassium bicarbonate in the 18th century. Until the first few decades of the 20th Century arsenic was widely used to stop mutating white blood cells. With the coming of radiation therapy, arsenic fell out of favor.

Leukemia remains a serious medical condition even today. Sometimes leukemia  is discovered at  a much later time.  There are “artificial” and  “natural” cures. A so-called biological treatment makes use of non-harmful drugs such as Interferon. It does not kill healthy cells but pumps up the body’s own immune system instead.

On the other hand, a bone marrow transplant is the most popular (but is the costliest) cure. This is done when a patient goes through a remission after a treatment. The patient is supposed to receive a new bone marrow so he or she can stand chemotherapy drugs. As with chemotherapy, the backlash is that this also kills healthy cells. This is a long process and much depends on the patient’s own immune system.

In the end, there is no substitute to a healthy lifestyle.

About the Author:

Sam Reese is a web enthusiasts and blogger. He is a history student and loves to write and read histories of different things.

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