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Leukemia Glossary

Terms used to explain Leukemia can sometimes be confusing. To help you fully understand the articles and features related to this very important health topic, we have compiled a glossary of terms that can help.

Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia

acute lymphocytic leukemia
Function: noun
: see: acute lymphoblastic leukemiaabbr. ALL


Pronunciation: \ˈbī-ˌäp-sē\

Function: noun
pl -sies
: the removal and examination of tissue, cells, or fluids from the living body


Pronunciation: \ˈkan(t)-sər\

Function: noun

1: a malignant tumor of potentially unlimited growth that expands locally by invasion and systemically by metastasis
2: an abnormal state marked by a cancer


Pronunciation: \-ˈther-ə-pē\

Function: noun
pl -pies
: the use of chemical agents in the treatment or control of disease or mental disorder

Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

chronic lymphocytic leukemia
Function: noun
: lymphocytic leukemia that is marked by an abnormal increase in the number of mature lymphocytes and esp. B cells, that is characterized by slow onset and progression of symptoms which include anemia, pallor, fatigue, appetite loss, granulocytopenia, thrombocytopenia, hypogammaglobulinemia, and enlargement of the lymph nodes, liver, and spleen, and that occurs esp. in older adults abbr. CLLcompare acute lymphocytic leukemia

Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia

chronic myelogenous leukemia
Function: noun
: myelogenous leukemia that is marked by an abnormal increase in mature and immature granulocytes (as neutrophils, eosinophils, and myelocytes) esp. in bone marrow and blood, that is characterized by fatigue, weakness, loss of appetite, spleen and liver enlargement, anemia, thrombocytopenia, and ultimately a dangerous increase in blast cells and esp. myeloblasts and lymphoblasts, that occurs esp. in adults, and that is associated with the presence of the Philadelphia chromosome abbr. CML—called also chronic myelocytic leukemia, chronic myeloid leukemia, chronic granulocytic leukemia, compare acute myelogenous leukemia

Hairy Cell Leukemia

hairy cell leukemia
Function: noun
: a chronic leukemia that is usu. of B cell origin and is characterized by malignant cells with a ciliated appearance that replace bone marrow and infiltrate the spleen causing splenomegaly


Function: noun

1: see: white blood cell
2: a cell (as a macrophage) of the tissues comparable to or derived from a leukocyte

Radiation Therapy

radiation therapy
Function: noun
: see: radiotherapy


Pronunciation: \ri-ˈmish-ən\

Function: noun
: a state or period during which the symptoms of a disease are abated <cancer in remission after treatment> compare arrest cure 1 intermission

Stem Cell

stem cell
Pronunciation: \ˈstem-\

Function: noun
: an unspecialized cell that gives rise to differentiated cells <hematopoietic stem cells in bone marrow>

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© 2011 Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Inc.

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