Leukemia, common name for any of various cancerous diseases of the blood or bone marrow, characterized by malignant proliferation of white blood cells. It may be divided into acute and chronic forms. In acute forms, progression is rapid, with patients suffering anemia, bruising, and infection. Chronic forms may have milder systemic symptoms, including susceptibility to infection and enlarged lymph nodes. Chemotherapy and antibiotics have greatly improved survival prospects.
See also: Cancer.