Leukemia is caused when there is a rapid overproduction of unhealthy white blood cells (WBCs) in the body. The condition affects more than 45,000 people in the country every year. It is a common blood cancer type, which predominantly affects people over 55 years. However, it is also commonly noted in children below 15 years. This article discusses the common types of leukemia.

1. Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) 
ALL is one of the most common and rapidly progressing types of leukemia prevalent in children. As per common procedure, the healthy cells in one’s body lead to the formation of functional lymphocytes. However, in this condition, some cells do not mature correctly. These cancer cells are transported via the blood to the other tissues and organs, including the liver, brain, testes, and lymph nodes, where they divide and grow. The division, growth, and spread of leukemia cells leads to the production of several symptoms. 

2. Acute myeloid leukemia (AML)
This is another common type of leukemia, predominantly seen in adults. This leukemia progresses fast and can hamper any blood component. There are several AML subtypes too. In this condition, the blood stem cells present in one’s bone marrow may develop into either the myeloid cells (which can become platelets, WBCs, or RBCs) or lymphoid cells (which become WBCs). When they grow and multiply, they overwhelm healthy non-cancer cells in the blood and bone marrow and spread across the different body parts. 

3. Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)
This type of leukemia is seen in people over 55 years and is rare in children. Following a survey conducted by NCL, approximately 20,000 new CLL cases are diagnosed every year. In this condition, the five-year survival rate is 83.2 percent. 

4. Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML)
This is a rare leukemia type. Only 10 percent of all leukemia cases are of this type. This condition is more common in children as opposed to adults. Usually, CML develops due to a genetic change, transforming the myeloid cells into unhealthy cancerous cells. These cells grow gradually and tend to overcrowd the healthy cells of the blood and bone marrow. Unfortunately, the sub-type of CML forms quickly and is very hard to treat.  

5. Hairy cell leukemia (HCL)
It is a rare leukemia type and is known as the hairy cell leukemia for the way it looks underneath the microscope. Every year, it affects over 6000 people in the country. The progression of HCL is slow. In some cases, people live with the disease for several years before any symptoms start showing up. It is a sub-type of chronic lymphocytic leukemia and is caused by a high B cell production by the bone marrow. With the increase in leukemia cells, less healthy WBC, platelets, and RBCs are produced.