Leukaemia is a cancer of the white blood cells. There are a number of different types of leukaemia. Leukaemia is named according to the type of white blood cell which is affected and whether it is chronic or acute.
Acute leukaemias come on suddenly, often within days or weeks, progressing quickly and need to be treated urgently. Chronic leukaemias develop more slowly, often over many months or years.
The four main types of leukaemia are:
- chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML)
- acute myeloid leukaemia (AML)
- chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL)
- acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL)
Another type of leukaemia is the less common hairy cell leukaemia.
Each disease has its own characteristics and treatment.
*Information provided by Macmillan cancer support
At The Christie, leukaemias and other blood cancers are treated by the haematology and transplant unit.