The age group most vulnerable to get Leukemia

Introduction

My research is based on Leukemia and the topic question being ‘The different age group which is most vulnerable to get Leukemia’ and exposures that could lead to the development of Leukemia .There are four different types of Leukemia cancer and each of the different types of Leukemia affects a particular age group regarding which Leukemia cancer it is and the age group it affects.

Hypothesis

People from the age 70 to 80 years of age are most vulnerable to get Leukemia as cancer is caused by many mutations accumulations over time and as people get older the immune systems are less able to fight infections and control cell growth.

Aim

To determine which age group is most vulnerable to get Leukemia and any other factors that contribute towards Leukemia.

The reason for researching on Leukemia Cancer is people aren’t aware of the threat it brings to the body where the abnormal blood cells are produced in the bone marrow as now Leukemia grows in the body and divides resulting in it being difficult for the body to fight infections, control bleeding and transport oxygen. This research project is also close to my heart as numbers keep rising rapidly which leads to death of many people due to Leukemia cancer.

The different types of leukemia based on how they develop due to abnormal cells:

• Acute Leukemia=if it develops rapidly in the blood and bone marrow.

• Chronic Leukemia: develops slowly overtime.

The other different types of Leukemia will be discussed in detail in the Literature Review in correspondence with the different age group the Leukemia cancer would affect people in high numbers.

Literature Review

What is Leukemia?

Leukemia is known to be a cancer that attacks the blood cells and is known to be blood cancer that affects adults more than children and usually results in high numbers of abnormal white blood cells. The abnormal cells are also known to be ‘blasts’.

How does Leukemia start?

Leukemia usually starts in the bone marrow, the center of most bones where blood cells come from .With Leukemia occurring in our bodies we have three blood cells which are: white blood cells>fight infection; red blood cells>carry oxygen and platelets>control bleeding.

Different types of Leukemia

• Acute lymphocytic leukemia is most common in children. Abnormal cells grow rapidly in the blood.

• Acute myeloid leukemia involves rapid growth of myeloid cells and occurs in both adults and children.

• Chronic lymphocytic leukemia a slow growing cancer that is found in lymphoid cells that usually affects people over 55 years.

• Chronic myeloid leukemia affects adults mostly.

Who is at risk of getting Leukemia?

Firstly people who would be at risk getting Leukemia would be the diseases people get in the body and exposure to certain chemicals around them e.g. exposure to radiation, exposure to benzene and cigarette smoking. Most people would say old people are more vulnerable to get Leukemia because their immune systems aren’t strong enough to fight infections and control the cell growth in the bones with blood cells being present but would also affect children but not as much as children.

Risk factors and exposure

The exposure to Leukemia would be dangerous as most of the factors that occur are within our lives like working certain chemicals, smoking and exposure to high levels of radiation. Exposure to certain chemicals like benzene for example lead to the development of Leukemia cancer as Benzene would be found such as chemical plants and gasoline related industries. Another huge factor that would be considered for the development of Leukemia would be high levels of radiation .Certain diseases and certain disorders such as Down syndrome can also be known to cause Leukemia.

Age and its effect on Leukemia

The Acute forms of Leukemia which would be acute lymphocytic leukemia and acute myelogenous leukemia mostly affect children often at ages 2 and 3 years and could later develop until teenage years.

The chronic forms of Leukemia which would be chronic lymphocytic leukemia and chronic myeloid leukemia are rarely seen in children and are mostly/commonly found in adults.

Acute forms of Leukemia and its effect on age

• Acute Myelogenous Leukemia occurs in adults over age 60 and it is found that AML is more common in males than females’. The reason for this statement would be that the males were exposed to high levels of radiation in the time of war resulting in them being survivors of an atomic bomb or a nuclear reactor accident. The other reasons for development of AML would be smoking and chemical exposure such as Benzene .A report from concentration also suggest that receiving cancer treatment like chemotherapy may also increase the development of AML.

• Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia is the most common type of Leukemia in young children but it also affects adults especially those 65 years and older .It is believed that people who have a sibling with Leukemia show an increased risk for developing ALL. The other reasons for the development of ALL would be exposure to radiation and chemical exposure such as exposure to gasoline, pesticides and diesel. Prolonged exposure electromagnetic fields such as living near power lines may increase a person’s risk of developing ALL.

Chronic forms of Leukemia and its effect on age

• Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia occurs in adults aged over 50 and also men are likely to develop CLL than women. The herbicides used in farming may increase the risk of CLL and some of the herbicides used in the war may be linked to an increased risk of getting CLL.

• Chronic Myeloid Leukemia occurs in the age group of adults over the age 70 to 80 and it has evident that men are more likely to develop CML like they have in all of the other different types of Leukemia and for the same reason due to the exposure of radiation may have increased the risk of CML to the particular age group.

So all in all it is evident enough from the age and its effect on Leukemia research from this literature review that Leukemia does affect people of all ages and although most cases occur in adults over the age 60 to 80 years Leukemia does not discriminate between the young and the old.

An example of Leukemia will be fully explained with the characteristics and classification it has: Chronic Leukemia which would be Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) and Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML) are classified to be a type of white blood cell affected by cancer. There would be symptoms for this type of cancer together with causes, diagnosing and how it can be treated. The symptoms for Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia would be repeated infections that occur over a short space of time, Anemia and swollen lymph glands. What would happen in Chronic Leukemia? Would be the stem cells (red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets) start overproducing in the body. The causes for Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia wouldn’t be known but can be said that having a family history of the condition and also having certain medical situation conditions such as pneumonia, sinus or shingles. Treating Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia would be considered an easy process because there would be treatment programs like chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

In conclusion for the literature review it can evidently be seen that Leukemia develops in all ages but mostly from the young ages of 0-2 years and then during the teenage years. In the adults seen from the information from the texts on the internet and books Leukemia occurs in the age group from 60-80 years. Men are more likely to develop Leukemia than women and it is evident due to the exposures that they might have experienced by being in the war which has resulted in chemical exposure. Leukemia is the acute meaning of it comes sudden mostly in children or chronic which lasts a long time in adults. With the high numbers of people effected with Leukemia from the texts in the books and internet Leukemia occurs most often in elderly people with the same reason of them being exposed to radiation and chemicals and also the areas they might live in e.g. electromagnetic fields.

Methodology

The process of how the ‘Leukemia Project’ was conducted/done will be fully described in this Methodology of how all the steps were done leading to the conclusion of the ‘research project and the changes that took place.

Step 1

Finding sources on the internet/books that have information on Leukemia and the different age group which is most vulnerable to get Leukemia. Researching on Leukemia and having a little bit of background in relation of what is Leukemia, how does Leukemia start, the different types of Leukemia, risk factors and exposure and finally who is at risk of getting Leukemia.

Step 2

Analyzing information in context to which age group is most vulnerable to get Leukemia and conducting a literature review highlighting the possible factors that could lead to one being vulnerable to get Leukemia e.g. risk factors and exposure to high levels of radiation and chemical exposure.

Step 3

Drawing up a table to show the relationship between the age groups and Leukemia with the purpose of the table showing which age group is most vulnerable to get Leukemia.

Step 4

Conducting a questionnaire with it entailing the table of the relationship between the age groups and Leukemia and questions asked on whether they have been in close contact to the exposures that could lead to the development of Leukemia.

Step 5

Filling in the information found from the questionnaire and table to see which age group is more vulnerable to get Leukemia with the certain exposures they would have been in contact leading them to having Leukemia.

Step 6

Comparing the information from all of the steps seeing which age group is more vulnerable to get Leukemia and the certain exposures they may have been in contact with.

Step 7

Having a final conclusion to answer the topic question of which age group is the most vulnerable to get Leukemia and the certain exposure the age group may have been in contact with and the other changes that happened during the investigation.

Step 8

Reflect on what I have learnt during the research project and give a final answer of which age group is the most vulnerable to get Leukemia and what can be done to treat Leukemia if there are any treatments.

Process of findings

A table will be drawn to show the findings of the research where a questionnaire will be given to a school. The questionnaire consists of seven questions relating to the development of Leukemia and trying to prove my hypothesis. The questionnaires were handed out to the teachers and children to see the age differences which would lead into getting Leukemia. A Bar graph could also be represented showing the different ages and how they are vulnerable to get Leukemia depending on the results from the table.

A line graph will also be represented drawing the different ages and how they are vulnerable to get Leukemia.

Teacher’s information table regarding Leukemia

Do they know what Leukemia is? Risk factors e.g. In presence with exposure to radiation

Age

Gender

Yes No 48 Female

Yes No 40 Female

Yes No 41 Female

Yes Yes 51 Male

Yes Yes 43 Female

Yes No 48 Female

No Yes 57 Female

School Children’s information regarding Leukemia

Do they know what Leukemia is? Risk factors e.g. In the presence with all exposure to radiation

Age

Gender

No Yes 12 Female

No Yes 12 Female

Yes No 12 Male

No Yes 12 Female

No No 12 Male

No Yes 11 Female

Yes Yes 13 Female

The two tables about the school children and school teachers have been drawn and filled in with the information from the questionnaires that were filled in by the two groups. The table consists of these questions: Do you know what Leukemia is? Risk factors, age and gender.

My results of the two groups were not similar as the teachers knew what Leukemia was and the children did not. There wasn’t a big difference with the risk factors as the teachers and school children are from the same area and with the age and gender females were more in the research investigation than males but in the teachers the most common age group was 40-49 year olds leaving only two people in the fifties. In the research investigation for children they hardly knew what Leukemia was but most of them were exposed to the risk factors at a young age. My finding in this research project experiment were different to the hypothesis as it proved that children are more vulnerable to get Leukemia prior to the risk factors they are in presence with in this experiment rather than the teachers who are older. The results from the experiment do not reflect what the literature says as the literature says that old people are most vulnerable to get Leukemia but as the experiment was conducted it is evident that in this case young people are most vulnerable to get Leukemia due to the risk factors they experience of living close to electromagnetic fields (powerlines)

The research could be improved by giving out more questionnaires to every single age groups to see the age group which is truly vulnerable to get Leukemia and the certain risk factors which would contribute to the development of Leukemia.

The line graph on Leukemia Cancer and age of people vulnerable to get Leukemia

Conclusion

The younger age groups in the experiment conducted proved to be that they are mostly vulnerable to get Leukemia with the risk factors they are exposed to. The outcome of the experiment with the younger people being most vulnerable to getting Leukemia is different to the hypothesis of the research question and that risk factors also play a huge factor in the vulnerability and development of Leukemia. Young people should be told about Leukemia and the different types of Leukemia for them to stay away for what would cause Leukemia which being the Electromagnetic field( Power lines) and other factors by staying away from them and not leading into the development of Leukemia.

I believe the reason why I chose this project is because people are not aware of the threat cancer brings to the body and it is close to my heart as a vast number of people keeps rising rapidly which is leading to death.

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Source: Essay UK - https://www.essay.uk.com/essays/medicine/the-age-group-most-vulnerable-to-get-leukemia/


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