DD, Aged 17

    When people would talk they didn't know what to say which was understandable.  more...


    Mimi - 15 years old

    I lost myself doing stupid things, angry and sad and depressed at everything. I ended up failing my classes, not caring about school, and getting into fights.  more...


    Chelsea - 14 years old

    I stuck my head round the door in the room mum was in, and she looked really ill. I couldn't understand what was happening - one minute my mum was fine and the next she was ill.  more...


    Clair - aged 14

    Something I wish is I could just have one more day with my dad! - to tell him how much I love him and how sorry I am for all the bad things I have said and done to him!  more...


    Nicole - 17 years old

    This time the doctors are unable to operate. He has already had 6 sessions of chemo and is having another 6 sessions. I cannot help feeling I may lose him.  more...


    Rirrif - 15 years old

    I have been staying with my dad because my mom doesn't want me around when she is sick, which is all the time. My dad works at night so I spend a lot of time alone since I'm not with my mom. I'm afraid she is going to die and I'll blame myself for not being there more. more...


    HT - 13 years old

    She has been so strong about this and is keen to put it all behind her.  more...


Leukaemia is a term for cancers in the blood that affects the white blood cells. White blood cells are made in our bone marrow (the soft inner part of our bones) and they are an important part of our immune system for fighting infections. Most types of leukaemia cause the bone marrow to make abnormal white blood cells. These cells can get into the blood stream and circulate around the body. Because there are too many of these abnormal white blood cells, they can build up in the lymph nodes, bone marrow and spleen and cause swelling in these areas. They can also cause problems in the liver and central nervous system. As these cells do not work normally they cannot protect us properly from infection. There are several types of leukaemia and they are divided into two main groups, based on how quickly they develop. Acute leukaemia can develop very quickly and chronic leukaemia can develop over months or years without causing many symptoms. Within these two main groups, there are different types of leukaemia according to the type of white blood cells that are affected, lymphocytes or myeloid cells. There is also a rare type of leukaemia called hairy cell leukaemia. The different types of leukaemia have different causes, treatments and outlooks. Therefore, when you are looking for information about leukaemia, it really helps to know what type it is so that you can find the right information.

To help you find answers to some of your questions, we have linked to Maggie’s CancerLinks where you will be signposted to high quality information about different types of leukaemia. The information on these websites is not written specifically for young people but it is written using simple language in a way that most people will be able to understand. Don’t worry if there are lots of links to different websites. Have a look on the description of the links and very often you will find the information you are searching for on the first website that you look at. If you just want general information about cancer you could read the ‘About cancer’ section on riprap.

Remember that the information on these sites is general. Within each cancer type, there are different variations, different stages, different treatments and people may also respond differently to the same treatments. Each person is an individual and because of this, generic information may not fit the situation you are thinking of. Often your parents or someone else who knows the details can answer your questions best. Also, please feel free to get in touch with us here at riprap. We can help you sorting through information or discuss things you’ve heard or read or anything at all that’s on your mind.

Don’t forget that there are lots of effective treatments for cancer these days and many cancers can be completely cured. There are also very good treatments to control cancers that cannot be cured and research is going on all the time to find new treatments that can control and cure cancers.

Page updated 17 July 2017