What Is leukaemia?
Leukaemia is a blood cancer. It affects the white blood cells which are an important part of our immune system that fights infection.
People with leukaemia produce abnormal white blood cells. These abnormal cells accumulate in the bone marrow and prevent the production of other important blood cells. Most of the problems associated with leukaemia are caused by the lack of normal cells in the blood, rather than the leukaemia cells themselves.
Mark Rowlands was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia in 1996. "I was in a situation where things didn’t look very hopeful, I’m still here 14 years later and there are new drugs being developed all the time – there is always hope.”
Anyone can get a blood cancer at any age. Around 30,000 people, from babies to grandparents, are diagnosed with blood cancer every year in the UK.
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